Form 941 Filing Requirements

With the Federal government searching for much-needed revenues, it is very likely that the IRS will be watching much more closely for unpaid payroll taxes, as it has been in recent years.  This article will explain the purpose of Form 941 and when it needs to be filed.  In a future article, we will cover the penalties related to this form, which can be severe.

Purpose of Form 941

Employers are required under Federal law to withhold necessary amounts of federal income tax as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes from their employees’ paychecks, and to pay any portion of the employer’s liability for Social Security and Medicare taxes (this portion is not withheld from employees).  Whenever an employer pays wages, the required amounts must be withheld. In addition to the items mentioned above, in general, Form 941 needs to be filed to report tips received by employees, current quarter’s adjustments to Social Security and Medicare taxes (for fractions of cents, sick pay, tips, and group-term life insurance), and credit for COBRA premium assistance payments.

Certain exceptions may apply to the filing requirements.  For instance, seasonal employers may not need to file Form 941 for certain quarters if they have not paid wages during that time.  (Line 19 of the form should be checked, however, for every quarter that such employers do file, in order to properly notify the IRS of this exception).  Employers of household and farm employees also usually do not need to file the form (instead, Form 943 “Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees” may need to be filed for farm employees).

When Form 941 Must be Filed

In general, Form 941 should first be filed in the quarter for which an employer has initially paid wages subject to Social Security, Medicare and/or Federal income tax withholding.  Form 941 is required to be filed by the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

Specifically, Form 941 is due April 30th for quarters ending March 31 (i.e. quarters that consist of January, February, and March), July 31st for quarters ending June 30th (i.e. quarters including April, May, and June), October 31st  for quarters ending September 30th (quarters including July, August, and September), and January 31st for quarters ending December 31st (quarters including  October, November, and December).  In other words, employers must generally report wages paid during a quarter by the required due dates.  (If a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, employers may file on the next business day).  If timely deposits have been made in full payment of required taxes owed for a quarter, an employer has 10 more days after the due dates listed above to file Form 941.

For forms received after the due date, the IRS will treat Form 941 as being filed when the form is actually received, unless certain conditions are met (such as a Form 941 postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before the due date in a properly addressed envelope with sufficient postage, or one sent by an IRS-designated private delivery service on or before the due date).

Once the initial Form 941 is filed by an employer, the form must be then filed for every following quarter (subject to certain exceptions, including those explained above).

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Legal Help With Form 941

If your business has not filed the required Forms 941 or you have not paid the payroll taxes to the IRS, contact Sherayzen Law Office for help.  Our experienced tax firm will work hard to protect your business against the IRS and will strive to achieve the most beneficial resolution of your case possible.   Attorney Sherayzen will also help you if you facing criminal charges due to your non-payment of taxes.