Specific Instructions

Part 1:Answer These Questions for This Year

3. If No Wages, Tips, and Other Compensation are Subject to Social Security or Medicare Tax

If no wages, tips, and compensation are subject to social security or Medicare taxes, check the box on line 3 and go to line 6. If this question does not apply to you, leave the box blank. For more information about exempt wages, see section 12 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS) and section 4 of Pub. 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.

4. Taxable Social Security and Medicare Wages and Tips

4a. Taxable social security wages.

Report the total wages, sick pay, and fringe benefits subject to social security taxes that you paid to your employees during the year.

Enter the amount before deductions. Do not include tips on this line. For information on types of wages subject to social security taxes, see section 4 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS).

For 2011, the rate of social security tax on taxable wages is 6.2% (.062) for the employer and 4.2% (.042) for the employee, or 10.4% (.104) for both. Stop paying social security tax on and reporting an employee's wages on line 4a when the employee's taxable wages (including tips) reach $106,800 for the year. However, continue to withhold Medicare taxes for the whole year on wages and tips even when the social security wage base of $106,800 has been reached.

line 4a (column 1)
x.104  
line 4a (column 2)

4b. Taxable social security tips.

Enter all tips your employees reported to you during the year until the total of the tips and wages for an employee reach $106,800 for the year. Include all tips your employees reported to you even if you were unable to withhold the 4.2% employee's share of social security tax.

Your employee must report cash tips to you by the 10th day of the month after the month the tips are received. The report should include tips you paid over to the employee for charge customers, tips the employee received directly from customers, and tips received from other employees under any tip-sharing arrangement. Both directly and indirectly tipped employees must report tips to you. No report is required for months when tips are less than $20. Employees may use Form 4070, Employee's Report of Tips to Employer, available only in Pub. 1244, Employee's Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer, or submit a written statement or electronic tip record.

line 4b (column 1)
x .104  
line 4b (column 2)

4c. Taxable Medicare wages & tips.

Report all wages, tips, sick pay, and taxable fringe benefits that are subject to Medicare tax. Unlike social security wages, there is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax.

The rate of Medicare tax is 1.45% (.0145) each for the employer and employee, or 2.9% (.029) for both. Include all tips your employees reported during the year, even if you were unable to withhold the employee tax of 1.45%.

line 4c (column 1)
x .029  
line 4c (column 2)

For more information, see sections 4, 5, and 7 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS).

4d. Total social security and Medicare taxes.

Add the social security tax, social security tips tax, and Medicare tax.

line 4a (column 2)
line 4b (column 2)
+line 4c (column 2)
line 4d  

6.Current Year's Adjustments

Enter tax amounts that result from current period adjustments. Use a minus sign (if possible) to show an adjustment that decreases the total taxes shown on line 4d. Otherwise, use parentheses.

In certain cases, you must adjust the amounts you reported as social security and Medicare taxes in column 2 of lines 4a, 4b, and 4c to figure your correct tax liability for this year's Form 944-SS. See section 9 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS).

If you need to adjust any amount reported on line 6 from a previously filed Form 944-SS, complete and file Form 944-X. Form 944-X is filed separately from Form 944-SS. See section 9 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS).

Fractions of cents.

Enter adjustments for fractions of cents (due to rounding) relating to the employee share of social security and Medicare taxes withheld. The employee share of amounts shown in column 2 of lines 4a through 4c may differ slightly from amounts actually withheld from employees' paychecks due to rounding social security and Medicare taxes based on statutory rates.

Sick pay.

Enter the adjustment for the employee share of social security and Medicare taxes that were withheld and deposited by your third-party sick pay payer with regard to sick pay paid by the third-party. These wages should be included on lines 4a and 4c. If you are the third-party sick pay payer, enter the adjustment for any employer share of these taxes required to be paid by the employer.

Adjustments for tips and group-term life insurance.

Enter adjustments for both the following items.

  • Any uncollected employee share of social security and Medicare taxes on tips.

  • The uncollected employee share of social security and Medicare taxes on group-term life insurance premiums paid for former employees.

7. Total Taxes After Adjustments

Combine the amounts shown on lines 4d and 6 and enter the result on line 7.

  • If line 7 is less than $2,500, you may pay the amount with Form 944-SS because you were not required to deposit. See section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS) for information and rules about federal tax deposits.

  • If line 7 is $2,500 or more, you generally must deposit your tax liabilities by electronic funds transfer. However, if you deposited all taxes accumulated in the first three quarters of the year and your fourth quarter liability is less than $2,500, you may pay taxes accumulated during the fourth quarter with a timely filed Form 944-SS. The amount shown on line 7 must equal the amount shown on line 13m. See section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS) for information and rules about federal tax deposits.

8. Total Deposits for This Year

Enter your deposits for this year, including any overpayment that you applied from filing Form 944-X or Form 941-X in the current year. Also include in the amount shown any overpayment from a previous period that you applied to this return.

9a. COBRA Premium Assistance Payments

Report on this line 65% of the COBRA premiums for assistance eligible individuals. Take the COBRA premium assistance credit on this line only after the assistance eligible individual's 35% share of the premium has been paid. For COBRA coverage provided under a self-insured plan, COBRA premium assistance is treated as having been made for each assistance eligible individual who pays 35% of the COBRA premium. Do not include the assistance eligible individual's 35% of the premium in the amount entered on this line. For more information on COBRA premium assistance credit, visit IRS.gov and enter the keyword COBRA.

The amount reported on line 9a is treated as a deposit of taxes on the first day of your return period and must not be used to adjust line 13 or Form 945-A.

9b. Number of Individuals Provided COBRA Premium Assistance

Enter the total number of assistance eligible individuals provided COBRA premium assistance reported on line 9a. Count each assistance eligible individual who paid a reduced COBRA premium in the year as one individual, whether or not the reduced premium was for insurance that covered more than one assistance eligible individual. For example, if the reduced COBRA premium was for coverage for a former employee, spouse, and two children, you would include one individual in the number entered on line 9b for the premium assistance. Further, each individual is reported only once per year. For example, an assistance eligible individual who made monthly premium payments during the year would only be reported as one individual.

10. Total Deposits and Credits

Add lines 8 and 9a.

11. Balance Due

If line 7 is more than line 10, enter the difference on line 11. Otherwise, see Overpayment below.

You do not have to pay if line 11 is less than $1. Generally, you should have a balance due only if your total taxes after adjustments (line 7) are less than $2,500. See If line 7 is $2,500 or more, earlier, for an exception.

If line 11 is:

  • Less than $1, you do not have to pay it.

  • $1 or more, but less than $2,500, you can pay the amount owed with your return. Make your check or money order payable to the United States Treasury and write your EIN, Form 944-SS, and 2011 on the check or money order. Complete Form 944-V(SS), Payment Voucher, and enclose it with your return.

  • $2,500 or more, you must deposit your tax. See Must You Deposit Your Taxes, earlier.

You may pay the amount shown on line 11 using EFTPS or a credit or debit card. Do not use a credit or debit card to pay taxes that were required to be deposited. For more information, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/e-pay.

If you pay by EFTPS or credit or debit card, file your return using the “Form 944-SS without payment” address under Where Should You File. Do not file Form 944-V(SS).

If you are required to make deposits and, instead, pay the taxes with Form 944-SS, you may be subject to a penalty.

12.Overpayment

If line 10 is more than line 7, enter the amount on line 12. Never make an entry on both lines 11 and 12.

If you deposited more than the correct amount for a year, you can choose to have us either refund the overpayment or apply it to your next return. Check the appropriate box on line 12. If you do not check either box, we will automatically refund the overpayment. We may apply your overpayment to any past due tax account that is shown in our records under your EIN.

If line 12 is less than $1, we will send a refund or apply it to your next return only if you ask us in writing to do so.

Complete both pages.   You must complete both pages of Form 944-SS and sign on page 2. Failure to do so may delay processing of your return.

Part 2: Tell Us About Your Deposit Schedule and Tax Liability for This Year

13. Check One:

If line 7 is less than $2,500, check the first box on line 13 and go to line 15.

If line 7 is $2,500 or more, check the second box on line 13. If you are a monthly schedule depositor, enter your tax liability for each month and figure the total liability for the year. If you do not enter your tax liability for each month, the IRS will not know when you should have made deposits and may assess an “averaged” failure-to-deposit penalty. See section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS). If your tax liability for any month is negative (for example, if you are adjusting an overreported liability in a prior month), do not enter a negative amount for the month. Instead, enter zero for the month and subtract that negative amount from your tax liability for the next month.

Note.

Your total tax liability for the year (line 13m) must equal your total taxes on line 7.

If you are a semiweekly schedule depositor, or if you accumulate $100,000 or more in tax liability on any day in a deposit period, you must complete Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability, and file it with Form 944-SS. See the $100,000 Next Day Deposit Rule in section 8 of Pub. 80 (Circular SS). Do not complete lines 13a through 13m if you file Form 945-A.

Part 3:Tell Us About Your Business

In Part 3, answer question 15 only if it applies to your business. If it does not apply, leave it blank and go to Part 4.

15.If Your Business Has Closed

If you go out of business or stop paying wages, you must file a final return. To notify the IRS that a particular Form 944-SS is your final return, check the box on line 15 and enter the date you last paid wages in the space provided.

Part 4:May We Speak With Your Third-Party Designee?

If you want to allow an employee, a paid tax preparer, or another person to discuss your Form 944-SS with the IRS, check the “Yes” box in Part 4. Enter the name, phone number, and the 5-digit personal identification number (PIN) of the specific person to contact—not the name of the firm who prepared your tax return. The designee may choose any numbers as his or her PIN.

By checking “Yes,” you authorize the IRS to talk to the person you named (your designee) about any questions we may have while we process your return. You also authorize your designee to do all of the following.

  • Give us any information that is missing from your return.

  • Call us for information about processing your return.

  • Respond to certain IRS notices that you have shared with your designee about math errors and return preparation. The IRS will not send notices to your designee.

You are not authorizing your designee to bind you to anything (including additional tax liability) or to otherwise represent you before the IRS. If you want to expand your designee's authorization, see Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

The authorization will automatically expire 1 year after the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing your Form 944-SS. If you or your designee want to terminate the authorization, write to the IRS office for your locality using the “Form 944-SS without payment” address under Where Should You File.

Part 5:Sign Here

Complete all information in Part 5 and sign Form 944-SS as follows:

•Sole proprietorship—   The individual who owns the business.

•Corporation (including a limited liability company (LLC) treated as a corporation)—   The president, vice president, or other principal officer duly authorized to sign.

•Partnership (including an LLC treated as a partnership) or unincorporated organization—   A responsible and duly authorized partner, member, or officer having knowledge of its affairs.

•Single member LLC treated as a disregarded entity—   The owner of the LLC, or principal officer duly authorized to sign.

•Trust or estate—   The fiduciary.

If you have filed a valid power of attorney, your duly authorized agent may also sign your Form 944-SS.

Alternative signature method.   Corporate officers or duly authorized agents may sign Form 944-SS by rubber stamp, mechanical device, or computer software program. For details and required documentation, see Rev. Proc. 2005-39. You can find Rev. Proc. 2005-39 on page 82 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2005-28 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb05-28.pdf.

Paid Preparer Use Only.   A paid preparer must sign Form 944-SS and provide the information in the Paid Preparer Use Only section of Part 5 if the preparer was paid to prepare Form 944-SS and is not an employee of the filing entity. Paid preparers must sign paper returns with a manual signature. The preparer must give you a copy of the return in addition to the copy to be filed with the IRS.

If you are a paid preparer, enter your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) in the space provided. Include your complete address. If you work for a firm, enter the firm's name and the EIN of your firm. You can apply for a PTIN online or by filing Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application and Renewal. For more information about applying for a PTIN online, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/ptin. You cannot use your PTIN in place of the EIN of the tax preparation firm.

Generally, do not complete this section if you are filing the return as a reporting agent and have a valid Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, on file with the IRS. However, a reporting agent must complete this section if the reporting agent offered legal advice, for example, advising the client on determining whether its workers are employees or independent contractors for Federal tax purposes.

How to Order Forms and Publications from the IRS

Call 1-800-829-3676 (U.S. Virgin Islands only) or 267-941-1000 (toll call).

Visit IRS.gov.

Other IRS Products You May Need

Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number
Form W-2AS, W-2GU, W-2CM, or W-2VI, Wage and Tax Statement
Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement
Form W-3SS, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements
Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements
Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return
Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return
Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund
Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
Form 943-X, Adjusted Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees or Claim for Refund
Form 944-X, Adjusted Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return and Claim for Refund
Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability
Form 4070, Employee's Report of Tips to Employer
Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips
Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
Instructions for Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return
Pub. 80 (Circular SS), Employer's Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Pub. 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide
Pub. 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
Pub. 51, (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide
Pub. 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide
Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney
Schedule H (Form 1040), Household Employment Taxes


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