Effective July 1, 2011 the 35 year old federal unemployment tax (FUTA) surtax will no longer be in effect. The surtax was one component of the 6.2% gross unemployment tax rate that employers paid on the first $7,000 in wages distributed annually to each employee. The actual surtax represented .2% of the total previous rate of 6.2%. This mid-year change will require employers to track FUTA taxable wages in two categories: wages paid before and after July 1, 2011. Washington has sent mixed signals about a potential retroactive reinstatement of the surtax.