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Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
IRS Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Form, is an essential tax form for businesses. Unlike individuals who file taxes on a yearly basis, most U.S. employers are required to file quarterly federal tax returns. Businesses who have employees must file Form 941 to report federal withholdings from employees.
Required information includes:
Number of employees
Total wages paid
Any adjustments made for tips, group life insurance, and sick days
Federal income tax withheld from each employee
All Social Security withholdings
All Medicare withholdings
When filing Form 941, companies are also expected to pay the employer portion of social security or Medicare tax. The IRS deadlines for the quarterly forms are April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31 of each year.
Failure to file a Form 941 in time may result in a penalty of 5 percent of the tax due with that return, and can increase up to 25 percent.
In general, any employer who withholds taxes from employee payroll checks is required to fill out a 941 four times a year, even if you have no taxes to report. The main exceptions are people who have household employees like housekeepers or maids (filed with a 1040 tax return) and agricultural employers (use Form 943 instead of 941). Employers who have seasonal employees only fill out a Form 941 for quarters in which they paid wages.
Form 941 and associated tax payments can be filed either electronically or by mail. You should choose one or the other method, not use both. The IRS e-file allows you to file your form online, and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a free service provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to make your payment online, after initial enrollment.
If you choose to file your 941 by mail, you can either fill out the form on your computer and print it, or print the form first and complete it by hand (mailing instructions are in the next section). Electronic filing can be done online with the Modernized e-file (MeF) system on irs.gov.
Sending 941 forms by mail must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the due date. Which address you send to varies by state and whether or not you are enclosing payment. If you are located in the following states you will mail your return (without payment) to: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Kansas City, MO 64999-0005. If you include payment, use this address instead: Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 806532, Cincinnati, OH 45280-6532.
District of Columbia
For employers in the states listed below, returns without payment should be mailed to: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Ogden, UT 84201-0005. Mail returns with payment to this address: Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 932100, Louisville, KY 40293-2100.
If you have no legal residence or principal place of business in any state, you will mail returns without payment to: Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 409101, Ogden, UT 84409. Returns with payment go to: Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 932100, Louisville, KY 40293-2100.
And for exempt organizations, governmental entities, and Indian tribal governmental entities, regardless of location, mail without payment to: Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Ogden, UT 84201-0005. Returns with payment should be mailed to: Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 932100, Louisville, KY 40293-2100.
Having trouble following this format? The chart provided by the IRS is in a format that makes it a little easier to read.