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Working over seas in Afghanistan and Iraq

by Tim
(Working in Afghanistan)

I am a W-2 employee and currently work in Afghanistan. I work for 6mo on and a few weeks off (it sucks but its a job).

My question is when/if my job ends what state do I file in?

I have read that you file in the state you pay taxes in however WA state does not have an income tax. My job is probably going to end in the next month or two so I am just trying to get a handle on this.


Chris's Response - You might be sorry you asked because UI taxing questions usually mean I'll ask my own questions too.):

But you're lucky .. because I think the answer to you is fairly straight forward.

If it were me and the State of Washington was my state of residence, I would file my unemployment claim there when I got home and let the state figure out if they are the correct, or incorrect state for you to file a claim in.

Who knows, if they are the incorrect state, they might also let you know they have the authority to act as the agent state for a claim being paid by the liable state. (This might also relate to whether when you signed your employment contract, it specified a home state .. for rule purposes.)

Any state should be able to identify whether another state received UI taxes, and is holding the wage credits on your claim in this day and age after the federal government went to the trouble of instituting a national new
hire reporting and directory system, not to mention the other databases states can cross-check to detect unemployment fraud.

But then, when UI tax is drawn into an answer, as you might see, I'm basically, out of my element except for some very rudimentary basics.

Your question raises a taxing question I've wanted to ask someone myself regarding employers of civilians vs. employees of the federal government - military members, and whether I'm right, or wrong to assume something I always have .. without verifying. (Never a good idea.)

I assume the federal government as an employer, is a reimbursing employer (pays after claims are determined to be valid and payable to whatever state managed the claim).

I wonder, since most private US employers with employees working overseas are government contractors to the federal government, whether they also could access special provisions that allows them to be a reimbursing employer.

Non-profits at least in most states have a choice to be a contributing, or a reimbursing employer and most choose reimbursing.

So my question is because private government contractors are private sector employers .. are they still limited to being the typical contributor, who must calculate the tax on employees wages that goes to their individual SUTA (state unemployment tax account), or do they have special access to reimbursing provisions .. in any, or all states.

Well that was fun .. for a Saturday morning:)


PS Thanks for the question Tim. Get home safe .. and if you think about it, let me know if Washington was the right place to file your claim.

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