Instructions for Form 944 - Introductory Material


Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 944 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form944.

What's New

Social security and Medicare taxes for 2013.   The employee tax rate for social security is 6.2%. Previously, the employee tax rate for social security was 4.2%. The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%. The social security wage base limit is $113,700. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2012. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.

  Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,800 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation in 2013. 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 2013.

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 Services and Payments, in section 15 of Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. 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 extended.   The work opportunity tax credit is now available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work before January 1, 2014. Previously, the credit was available for unemployed veterans who began work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2013. 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.

If you change your name, or address, or responsible party.   For a definition of “responsible party” and how to notify IRS of a change in the identity of your responsible party, see the instructions for Form 8822-B. Notify the IRS immediately if you change your business name or address. 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 an address change.

Reminders

COBRA premium assistance credit.   The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments applies to premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months. See the instructions for line 9a, later.

Forms 944-SS and 944-PR 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, and Form 944-PR, Planilla para la Declaración Federal ANUAL del Patrono, will no longer be issued by the IRS after 2011.

  Beginning with tax year 2012, employers who previously filed Form 944-SS or 944-PR will continue to file annually using Form 944 (or Form 944(SP), Declaración Federal ANUAL de Impuestos del Patrono o Empleador, the Spanish language equivalent of Form 944). Alternatively, employers in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands may request to file Forms 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return—American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, instead of Form 944 or Form 944(SP). Employers in Puerto Rico may request to file Forms 941-PR, Planilla para la Declaración Federal TRIMESTRAL del Patrono, instead of Form 944 or Form 944(SP).

  

Employers can choose to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR instead of Form 944.   Employers required to file Form 944, who want to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR instead, must notify the IRS they are electing to file quarterly Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR and opting out of filing Form 944. See What if you want to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR instead of Form 944, later.

Correcting a previously filed Form 944 or 944-SS.   If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 944 or 944-SS, make the correction using Form 944-X, Adjusted Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund. Form 944-X is filed separately from Form 944. For more information, see section 13 of Pub. 15 (Circular E) or section 9 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. You may also visit IRS.gov and enter “correcting employment taxes” in the search box.

Correcting a previously filed Form 944-PR.   If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 944-PR, make the correction using Form 944-X (PR), Ajuste a la Declaración Federal ANUAL del Patrono o Reclamación de Reembolso. Form 944-X (PR) is filed separately from Form 944. For more information, see section 12 of Pub. 179 (Circular PR), Guía Contributiva Federal para Patronos Puertorriqueños. You may also 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 11 of Pub. 15 (Circular E), section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS), or section 11 of Pub. 179 (Circular PR). To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call one of the following numbers.
  • 1-800-555-4477

  • 1-800-733-4829 (TDD)

  • 1-800-244-4829 (Spanish)

  • 303-967-5916 (toll call)

Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A Guide To Getting Started, or Pub. 966 (SP), Sistema de Pago Electrónico del Impuesto Federal: La Manera Segura de Pagar los Impuestos Federales.

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.

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. 15 (Circular E).

Electronic filing and payment.   Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of filing tax returns 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 more information.

  • For EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS at one of the numbers provided under Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer, earlier.

  
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 944 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 944 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. A convenience fee will be charged for this service.

Paid preparers must sign Form 944.   Paid preparers must complete and sign the paid preparer's section of Form 944.

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 944, tax deposit rules, or obtaining an EIN, call the IRS at one of the numbers listed below.
  • 1-800-829-4933 (Business and Specialty Tax Line) or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time; employers in Puerto Rico receive service from 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. local time).

  • 267-941-1000 (toll call); Monday–Friday from 6:00 a.m.–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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