New York Unemployment Compensation laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Unemployment Compensation: What you need to know

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:
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• 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 that paid cash wages of $20,000 or more in a calendar quarter or employed at least 10 people on each of 20 days in the current or preceding calendar year;
• 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).
Taxable wage base. For the current taxable wage base, visit http://www.tax.ny.gov. The term “wages” includes:
• The reasonable value of any noncash remuneration, such as board, rent, housing, and lodging;
• Commissions and bonuses;
• Vacation pay;
• Tips; and
• Payments in stock (NY Labor Law Sec. 518).
Rates. To find the current tax rate, visit http://www.labor.ny.gov. ...

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