How to Calculate Money Owed to New York State Unemployment Insurance


Part of the obligation of an employer in New York state is to carry unemployment insurance for their employees. This is a tax that the employer pays on behalf of the employee. The money goes into the state unemployment fund so that should the employee lose his job through no fault of his own in the future, he will be able to receive a portion of his salary in unemployment benefits for at least six months. The purpose of the compensation is to provide enough income to carry people through the time they are searching for a new position.

  • Use NYS-45, Quarterly Combined Withholding, Wage Reporting and Unemployment Insurance Return. This is the form you must fill out, but it will also walk you step-by-step through the unemployment insurance process. The quarterly forms are due on April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31. The New York Department of Taxation and Finance has an online version of the form, which allows you to report your unemployment insurance payments electronically.

  • Calculate the total remuneration you paid for the reporting quarter, as well as the total remuneration paid to each employee above $8,500 for the calendar year. Remuneration includes salary, cash wages, commissions, bonuses, tips, vacation pay, the value of meals and lodging and other types of noncash compensation, according to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.

  • Subtract the remuneration above $8,500 from the total remuneration. These are the wages subject to the unemployment insurance tax.

  • Multiply the wages subject to the unemployment insurance tax by your rate. The Department of Taxation and Finance assigns each business a tax rate each year based on the size of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. This may be the lowest rate (1.425 percent), new employer rate (4.025 percent) and highest rate (9.825 percent).

  • Multiply the wages subject to the unemployment insurance tax by reemployment tax. In 2011, the re-employment tax rate was 0.075 percent. It is considered part of the unemployment insurance tax though calculated separately.

  • Total the taxes owed along with any previous unpaid unemployment taxes owed. If you have unpaid unemployment taxes you are paying, they will also be subject to interest payments.


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