New Unemployment Rules for Corporate Officers in Washington State

Washington State Employment Security Department (State Unemployment) finally released information on the Corporate Officer change that takes effect on 12/29/2013. The old law automatically covered all corporate officers for unemployment benefits unless the corporation asked to be exempted. The new law, which takes effect on December 29, 2013, reverses that and exempts all officers of the corporation unless it applies for and is approved for voluntary coverage. Here is the email from the Employment Security Department:

Dear employer/representative:

RE:  Unemployment insurance no longer mandatory for corporate officers

Washington corporations will no longer pay state unemployment-insurance taxes on their corporate officers unless the corporation requests voluntary coverage for all its officers. The old law automatically covered all corporate officers for unemployment benefits unless the corporation asked to be exempted. The new law, which takes effect on December 29, 2013, reverses that and exempts all officers of the corporation unless it applies for and is approved for voluntary coverage. If a corporation wants unemployment-insurance coverage for any of its corporate officers, it must cover all of them.  Any corporation that wants to cover its officers must apply by March 1, 2014, if it wants coverage to continue uninterrupted.   In another law change, corporate officers who are covered for unemployment benefits may now be eligible for benefits under new circumstances, even when some wages used on the unemployment claim are from the corporation. Corporations that do not pay state unemployment-insurance taxes on corporate officers must pay the full amount of federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information or to access a Voluntary Election Form, go to Frequently asked questions – Corporate officers.