Instructions for  
Form 944-SS - Introductory Material


Table of Contents

What's New

Form 944-SS webpage.   The IRS has created a page on IRS.gov for information about Form 944-SS and its instructions, at www.irs.gov/form944ss. Information about any recent developments affecting Form 944-SS will be posted on that page.

Form 944-SS discontinued.   Form 944-SS will no longer be issued by the IRS after 2011. Beginning with tax year 2012, taxpayers who previously filed Form 944-SS will continue to file annually on Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return (or Form 944(SP), the Spanish language equivalent to Form 944). Alternatively, taxpayers may request to begin quarterly filing 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. For more information, see the 2012 Instructions for Form 944.

  To request to file quarterly Forms 941-SS to report your social security and Medicare taxes for the 2012 calendar year, you must either call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 (U.S. Virgin Islands only), or 267-941-1000 (toll call) by April 2, 2012, or send a written request postmarked on or before March 15, 2012. After you contact the IRS, the IRS will send you a written notice that your filing requirement has been changed. If you do not receive this notice, you must file Form 944 for calendar year 2012. For more information, see What if you want to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944, later.

Social security and Medicare taxes for 2011.   The employee tax rate for social security is 4.2%. The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for employers and employees.

  Do not withhold or pay social security tax after an employee reaches $106,800 in social security wages for the year. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax.

Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer.   Beginning January 1, 2011, you must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax). Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used after December 31, 2010. 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 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), Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (for use in 2011).

  For more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit the EFTPS website at www.eftps.gov, or call 1-800-555-4477 (U.S. Virgin Islands only), 303-967-5916 (toll call), or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966, The Secure Way to Pay Your Federal Taxes.

Change of address.   Beginning in 2012, employers must use new Form 8822-B, Change of Address—Business, for any 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.

Correcting a previously filed Form 944-SS.   If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 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-SS. For more information, see section 9 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS), or visit IRS.gov and enter the keywords Correcting Employment Taxes.

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

Electronic payment.   Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of 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 paying easier. Spend less time and worry on taxes and more time running your business. Use Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to make deposits or pay in full whether you rely on a tax professional or prepare your own taxes. Visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (U.S. Virgin Islands only), 303-967-5916 (toll call), or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD).

  
If you were a semiweekly schedule depositor at any time during 2011, you must file a paper Form 944-SS and Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability.

EFTPS deposits.   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 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). If you ever need the same-day 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.

Credit or debit card payments.   Employers can pay the balance due shown on Form 944-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. A convenience fee will be charged for this service.

Employer's liability.   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. The employer remains liable if the third party fails to perform a required action.http://request by collection policy.

Where can you get telephone help?   You can call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line toll free at 1-800-829-4933 (U.S. Virgin Islands only) or 267-941-1000 (toll call) Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time for answers to your questions about completing Form 944-SS, tax deposit rules, or obtaining an employer identification number (EIN).

Photographs of missing children.   The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication 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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