How Do I Know If I Am Liable For State Unemployment Taxes?

The requirements for liability vary for different types of employment:

  • FOR­PROFIT BUSINESS (other than agriculture) ­ You will be liable if you pay at least $1,500 in gross wages in a single calendar quarter or if you have at least one worker performing service in each of 20 weeks out of a calendar year. (They do not have to be the same worker in each week, nor do the weeks have to be consecutive.)
  • AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYERS ­ You will be liable if you pay at least $20,000 in gross wages in a single calendar quarter or if you have at least ten workers performing service in each of 20 weeks out of a calendar year.
  • DOMESTIC EMPLOYERS ­ You will be liable if you pay at least $1,000 in gross wages in a single calendar quarter.
  • ACQUISITION OF ALL OR PART OF AN EXISTING BUSINESS (which is already liable for Unemployment Insurance). Generally, you will be automatically liable as a successor employer.
  • NOT­FOR­PROFIT ORGANIZATION ­ You will be liable if you employ at least four workers in each of 20 weeks out of a calendar year.
  • STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYER ­ You are liable for any employment excluding elected officials and certain other exclusions.
  • FEDERAL AND OUT­OF­STATE LIABILITY ­ If you are liable in another state or liable for federal unemployment tax, you are automatically liable for any employment in Kentucky.
  • PREVIOUS LIABILITY IN KENTUCKY ­ If you did not sell your former business or otherwise terminate your account, you are automatically liable upon resuming employment.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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