N.H.: State Unemployment Tax Cut Due

By Rosemarie Lally Feb 23, 2015

Thanks to an improving economy and a robust unemployment compensation trust fund, the unemployment tax rate for all New Hampshire employers was reduced 1 percent effective for the first quarter of 2015, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis announced Jan. 6, 2015.

The tax cut, the largest since 2008, should result in an employer tax savings of more than $37 million this quarter, the Employment Security Commission predicted.

The reduction for the first quarter of 2015 follows a 0.5 percent reduction for the fourth quarter of 2014, which was estimated to have saved employers more than $3.3 million between October and December.

The recent tax reductions were triggered by New Hampshire's unemployment compensation law, which allows for three levels of reductions to employer tax rates based on the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund balance reaching and maintaining a certain level throughout an entire quarter. A 0.5 percent reduction is allowed if the trust fund equals or exceeds $250 million throughout the preceding quarter, a one-percent reduction is allowed if the trust fund equals or exceeds $275 million, and a 1.5 percent reduction is allowed if the Trust Fund equals or exceeds $300 million.

Employers are notified by the Employment Security Commission each quarter as to their effective tax rate for that quarter and are then required to file a quarterly report and submit payment of the taxes owed by the month following the end of each quarter. For example, reports and taxes for the first quarter of 2015 are due by April 30, 2015.

“As our unemployment rate continues to drop and remains significantly lower than the national average, our Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund continues to experience healthy growth, triggering another tax reduction for all New Hampshire employers,” according to Hassan. “Following the previous reduction for the fourth quarter of 2014, the reduction for the first quarter of 2015 is estimated to save employers more than $37.2 million in the next three months.

In 2014, Hassan and Copadis proposed an 11 percent increase in unemployment benefits, arguing that unemployed workers also deserved to benefit from the healthy trust fund, but the proposal failed in the state legislature.

Rosemarie Lally, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.

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