Instructions for Form 941-SS - Introductory Material


Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 941-SS and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form941ss.

What's New

Social security and Medicare tax for 2014.   The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2013. The social security wage base limit is $117,000.

  The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2013. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.

  Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,900 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation in 2014. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,600 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation in 2014.

  

COBRA premium assistance credit.   Effective for tax periods beginning after December 31, 2013, the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments cannot be claimed on Form 941-SS. Instead, after filing your Form 941-SS, file Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit. Filing a Form 941-X before filing a Form 941-SS for the quarter may result in errors or delays in processing your Form 941-X. For more information, visit IRS.gov and enter “COBRA” in the search box.

  
If you are entitled to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit, but are not otherwise required to file Form 941-SS, file a Form 941-SS with -0- entered on line 12 before filing a Form 941-X to claim the credit.

If you change your business name, business address, or responsible party.    For a definition of “responsible party” and how to notify the IRS of a change in the identity of your responsible party, see the Form 8822-B instructions. Notify the IRS immediately if you change your business name, business address, or responsible party. Write to the IRS office where you file your returns (using the Without a payment address under Where Should You File, later) to notify the IRS of any name change. See Pub. 1635, Employer Identification Number: Understanding Your EIN, to see if you need to apply for a new EIN. Complete and mail Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party—Business, to notify the IRS of a business address or responsible party change.

Reminders

Additional Medicare Tax withholding.   In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1.45%, you must withhold a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold.

  For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare tax, see the chart, Special Rules for Various Types of Employment and Payments, in section 12 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS), Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS.gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box.

Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans.   The work opportunity tax credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who began work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2014. Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans can claim the work opportunity tax credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C, Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans. For more information, visit IRS.gov and enter “work opportunity tax credit” in the search box.

Form 944-SS discontinued.   Form 944-SS, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return—American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will no longer be issued by the IRS after 2011. Beginning with tax year 2012, employers who previously filed Form 944-SS will continue to file annually using Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return (or Formulario 944(SP), Declaración Federal ANUAL de Impuestos del Patrono o Empleador, the Spanish language equivalent to Form 944). Alternatively, taxpayers may request to begin quarterly filing Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944 (or Formulario 944(SP)). For more information, see Employers can choose to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944 next.

Employers can choose to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944.   Employers in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that would otherwise be required to file Form 944 can notify the IRS if they want to file quarterly Forms 941-SS instead of annual Form 944. To request to file quarterly Forms 941-SS to report your social security and Medicare taxes for the 2014 calendar year, you must either call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 (U.S. Virgin Islands only), or 267-941-1000 (toll call) between January 1, 2014, and April 1, 2014, or send a written request postmarked between January 1, 2014, and March 17, 2014. After you contact the IRS, the IRS will send you a written notice that your filing requirement has been changed. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944 before you may file these forms. If you do not receive this notice, you must file Form 944 for calendar year 2014. See Rev. Proc. 2009-51, 2009-45 I.R.B. 625, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2009-45_IRB/ar12.html.

Requesting to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS.   If you are required to file Form 941-SS but believe your employment taxes for the calendar year will be $1,000 or less, you may request to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 (U.S. Virgin Islands only), or 267-941-1000 (toll call) between January 1, 2014, and April 1, 2014, or sending a written request postmarked between January 1, 2014, and March 17, 2014. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS before you may file this form. For more information on requesting to file Form 944 visit IRS.gov and enter “file employment taxes annually” in the search box.

Section 3121(q) Notice and Demand—Tax due on unreported tips.    An employer enters the amount of social security and Medicare taxes on unreported tips shown on the Section 3121(q) Notice and Demand on line 5f of the employer's Form 941-SS for the calendar quarter corresponding to the “Date of Notice and Demand.

Aggregate Form 941 filers.    Agents must complete Schedule R (Form 941), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers, when filing an aggregate Form 941. Aggregate Forms 941 are filed by agents approved by the IRS under section 3504. To request approval to act as an agent for an employer, the agent files Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent, with the IRS.

Correcting a previously filed Form 941-SS.    If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 941-SS, make the correction using Form 941-X. Form 941-X is filed separately from Form 941-SS. For more information, see section 9 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS) or visit IRS.gov and enter “correcting employment taxes” in the search box.

Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer.    You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, electronic funds transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you do not want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make electronic deposits on your behalf. Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a same-day wire payment on your behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of Treasury. Services provided by your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee.

  For more information on making federal tax deposits, see section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS). To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477 (toll free; for use by U.S. Virgin Islands only), 1-303-967-5916 (toll call), or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS is available in Pub. 966, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A Guide To Getting Started.

  
For an EFTPS deposit to be on time, you must initiate the deposit by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day before the date the deposit is due. See section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS) for details.

Same-day wire payment option.

If you fail to initiate a deposit transaction on EFTPS by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day before the date a deposit is due, you can still make your deposit on time by using the Federal Tax Application (FTA). To use the same-day wire payment method, you will need to make arrangements with your financial institution ahead of time. Please check with your financial institution regarding availability, deadlines, and costs. Your financial institution may charge you a fee for payments made this way. To learn more about the information you will need to provide to your financial institution to make a same-day wire payment, visit www.eftps.gov to download the Same-Day Payment Worksheet.

Timeliness of federal tax deposits.

If a deposit is required to be made on a day that is not a business day, the deposit is considered timely if it is made by the close of the next business day. A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term “legal holiday” for deposit purposes includes only those legal holidays in the District of Columbia. Legal holidays in the District of Columbia are provided in Pub. 80 (Circular SS).

Electronic filing and payment.    Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of filing and paying their federal taxes electronically. Whether you rely on a tax professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient programs to make filing and paying easier. Spend less time and worry about taxes and more time running your business. Use e-file and EFTPS to your benefit.
  • For e-file, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/efile for additional information.

  • For EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (toll free; for use by U.S. Virgin Islands only), 1-303-967-5916 (toll call), or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD) for additional information.

  
If you are filing your tax return or paying your federal taxes electronically, a valid employer identification number (EIN) is required at the time the return is filed or the payment is made. If a valid EIN is not provided, the return or payment will not be processed. This may result in penalties.

Electronic funds withdrawal (EFW).

If you file Form 941-SS electronically, you can e-file and e-pay (electronic funds withdrawal) the balance due in a single step using tax preparation software or through a tax professional. However, do not use EFW to make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes using EFW, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/e-pay. A fee may be charged to file electronically.

Credit or debit card payments.    Employers can pay the balance due shown on Form 941-SS by credit or debit card. Do not use a credit or debit card to make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes with a credit or debit card, visit the IRS website at 
www.irs.gov/e-pay.

Paid preparers must sign Form 941-SS.    Paid preparers must complete and sign the paid preparer's section of Form 941-SS.

Outsourcing payroll duties.   Employers are responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and payments are made, even if the employer contracts with a third party to perform these acts. The employer remains responsible if the third party fails to perform any required action. If you choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party payer such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent, visit IRS.gov and enter “outsourcing payroll duties” in the search box for helpful information on this topic.

Where can you get telephone help?   For answers to your questions about completing Form 941-SS or tax deposit rules, you can call the IRS at:
  • 1-800-829-4933 (toll free; for use by U.S. Virgin Islands only) or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard or hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time, or

  • 267-941-1000 (toll call) Monday–Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Photographs of missing children.    The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in instructions on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


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