Arizona Unemployment Compensation laws & HR compliance analysis

Arizona Unemployment Compensation: What you need to know

Virtually all employers are subject to unemployment insurance taxes under Arizona’s unemployment law (AZ Stat. Sec. 23-601 et seq.). For example, coverage includes:
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• Anyone who, in the current or preceding calendar year, paid wages of $1,500 in any calendar quarter or employed at least one person for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks;
• Employers subject to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA);
• Anyone who buys the business of a covered employer or owns or controls two or more businesses that together meet the criteria for coverage;
• Employers of domestic servants that pay $1,000 in wages in any calendar quarter; and
• Employers of agricultural workers that, in either the current or preceding calendar year, employed at least 10 people in 20 different weeks or paid wages of $20,000 or more in any quarter (AZ Stat. Sec. 23-613).
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 (unless when the program was set up to benefit the employer);
• Spouses of students working for the school;
• Real estate and insurance salespersons;
• Cemetery and securities salespersons, income tax preparers, and door-to-door salespersons;
• Hospital interns;
• Certain newspaper distributors; and
• Student nurses (AZ Stat. Sec. 23-617).
Taxable wage base. The taxable wage base is determined each year. For the current taxable wage base, visit The term “wages” generally includes the following:
• Commissions;
• Bonuses and fringe benefits; and
• The cash value of noncash remuneration (AZ Stat. Sec. 23-622

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