When Is An Employer Liable For Unemployment Taxes?
Different employer types have different liability for contributions under the Unemployment Insurance Law.
General Business Employers
A general business employer is liable:
- on the first day of any calendar quarter in which total remuneration of $300 or more is paid, OR
- on the day it acquires any or all of the business of an employer currently liable for contributions.
A nonprofit employer is liable:
- on the first day of any calendar quarter in which it pays total cash remuneration of $1,000 or more, OR
- as of the first day of a calendar year if it employs four or more persons on each of 20 days during that calendar year or the preceding calendar year, each being in a different calendar week.
A nonprofit employer may terminate liability at the end of any calendar quarter if:
- the Department is notified in writing during that calendar quarter, AND
- the employer did not pay cash remuneration of $1,000 or more in the current and three preceding calendar quarters, AND
- the employer did not employ 4 or more persons on each of 20 days during that calendar year or the preceding calendar year, each day being in a different calendar week.
An employer of household help is liable as of the first day of any calendar quarter in which total cash wages of $500 or more is paid. A household employer may terminate liability at the end of any calendar quarter if the Department of Labor is notified in writing and cash wages of $500 or more is not paid in the current and three preceding calendar quarters.
An employer of agricultural labor on a farm is liable:
- at the beginning of any calendar year in which 10 or more farm workers are employed on each of 20 days in a calendar year or the preceding calendar year, each day being in a different week, OR
- as of the first day of a calendar quarter during which cash remuneration of $20,000 or more is paid to farm workers, OR
- as of the first day of the calendar quarter during which any remuneration is paid to farm workers if the employer is liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) with respect to farm workers.
A Farm Labor Crew Leader is also liable if any of the above conditions are met, AND:
- the farm operator is not the employer, AND
- the crew leader holds a valid certificate of registration under the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963, OR substantially all of the crew operates or maintains mechanized equipment which is provided by the leader.
All local government employees are mandatorily covered under the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law as of January 1, 1978. This is without regard to the amount of remuneration paid or the number of employees.
All Indian Tribes, as defined in Section 3306(u) of FUTA, are mandatorily covered under the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law as of December 21, 2000. This is without regard to the amount of remuneration paid or the number of employees.
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.
Additional Employment Law for Employees Articles
- What is the current minimum wage in New York State?
- What Is The Law Regarding Overtime?
- Must My Employer Provide For Rest And/Or Meal Periods?
- Must An Employer Pay Employees For Holidays, Sick Time And/Or Vacations?
- Can An Employee Be Fired Without Due Cause?
- When Is The Last Check Due To A Terminated Employee?
- How Can Employees Obtain Assistance In Collecting Wages Owed To Them By Their Employer?
- How Do I Apply For Unemployment Insurance?
- How Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?
- How Is My Weekly Benefit Rate Determined?
- How Do I Claim My Weekly Benefits?
- Are Unemployment Insurance Benefits Taxable?
- What Is The Minimum Age For Employment?
- Is An Employment Certificate Required?
- Are Certain Occupations Prohibited For Minors?
- What Are The Restrictions On The Hours A Minor Can Work?
- If An Employer Complies With The State Law Does That Guarantee Compliance With The Federal Law Or If The Employer Complies With Federal Law Does That Guarantee Compliance With State Law?
- How Does An Employer Register As An Employer?
- What Is Required Once An Employer Is Determined Liable?
- What Are The Unemployment Tax Rates?
- Do I Have To Look For Work While Collecting Unemployment Insurance Benefits?