Nonprofits may be unaware of cost-saving options regarding SUI tax obligations

December 9, 2013

Nonprofits may be unaware of cost-saving options regarding SUI tax obligations

First-time jobless claims fell by about 23,000 for the week ending Nov. 30, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. However, the largest increases in initial claims by state  for the prior week – the most recent data available – were in California. The state continues to be plagued by unemployment claims and the situation provides an ominous outlook for state unemployment insurance (SUI) systems.

Even for companies that are seeing jobless claims level out, the cost of unemployment insurance (UI) is still on the rise in many states. Employers pay UI tax to both federal and state governments to cover claims.

While unemployment is improving in some areas, state unemployment offices are still reeling from the setbacks that occurred during the Great Recession. State employers are experiencing cuts to federal unemployment tax credits, causing an increase in the cost per employee for federal UI taxes. 

Federal unemployment insurance tax credits will continue to go down in states where there are large outstanding loans to the federal government. In California, the debt is so high that it could still exist when the next recession hits, creating a very volatile funding situation.

To avoid increasing costs, nonprofits should exit SUI tax pools
While SUI tax rates do not increase under federal mandates, the struggling systems still require more money to operate and meet jobless claims. While nonprofits do not pay federal unemployment insurance taxes, they do have an obligation to state UI tax pools. State unemployment offices often overpay claims and employers in the systems are sometimes paying for the costs of other companies.

Nonprofits and government agencies have the unique option to exit state unemployment tax pools and become reimbursing employers. This allows them to reimburse the state only for actual UI claims paid out. If a reimbursing employer has no UI claims filed in a year, then they would owe nothing. However, if there is an unexpected increase they could owe more than an organization in a SUI pool if they have not examined all of their options for meeting the SUI tax obligation.

To fully understand all the options, risks and rewards surrounding the decision to self-reimburse, organizations should contact a nonprofit UI expert. Nonprofit consulting groups can help determine the safest and most cost-effective model for meeting their SUI tax obligation.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Companies at or visit


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In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund
streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.

Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

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Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

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