Virtually all employers are subject to unemployment insurance taxes under New York's Unemployment Insurance Law (NY Labor Law Sec. 500 et seq.). Coverage extends to:
• Anyone who paid cash wages of $300 or more in a calendar quarter;
• Anyone who elects to be covered;
• Nonprofit organizations that paid cash wages of $1,000 or more in a calendar quarter or employed four or more people on each of 20 days during the current or preceding calendar year;
• The state and its instrumentalities and political subdivisions;
• Agricultural employers regardless of size;
• Employers subject to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), unless they are specifically excluded by law; and
• Employers of domestic workers that paid cash wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter (NY Labor Law Sec. 560).
The law excludes certain services from coverage, including, for example, services provided by:
• Students working for schools, colleges, or universities;
• Students working for work-study programs;
• Spouses of students working for schools;
• Real estate salespersons;
• Elementary or secondary students who are part-time;
• Caddies or freelance reporters; and
• Babysitters under 18 (NY Labor Law Sec. 511).