Table of Contents
For the latest information about developments related to Publication 51 (Circular A), such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub51.
2013 withholding tables. Employers should implement the 2013 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than February 15, 2013. Use the 2012 withholding tables until you implement the 2013 withholding tables.
Social security and Medicare tax 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. Employers should implement the 6.2% employee social security tax rate as soon as possible, but not later than February 15, 2013. (Continued on page 2.) After implementing the new 6.2% rate, employers should make an adjustment in a subsequent pay period to correct any underwithholding of social security tax as soon as possible, but not later than March 31, 2013.The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer for 2013, 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.
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 Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.
Leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before January 1, 2014, to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The donated leave will not be included in the income or wages of the employee. The employer may deduct the cash payments as business expenses or charitable contributions. For more information, see Notice 2012-69, 2012-51 I.R.B. 712, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2012-51_IRB/ar09.html.
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.
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. For more information, see COBRA premium assistance credit under Introduction.
Compensation paid to H-2A foreign agricultural workers. Report compensation of $600 or more paid to foreign agricultural workers who entered the country on H-2A visas in box 1 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Compensation paid to H-2A workers for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes, and therefore should not be reported as wages subject to social security tax (line 2) or Medicare tax (line 4) on Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and should not be reported as social security wages (box 3) or Medicare wages (box 5) on Form W-2. On Form W-2, do not check box 13 (Statutory employee), as H-2A workers are not statutory employees.An employer is not required to withhold federal income tax from compensation it pays an H-2A worker for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa unless the worker asks for withholding and the employer agrees. In that case, the worker must give the employer a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Federal income tax withheld should be reported on Form 943, line 6, and in box 2 of Form W-2. These reporting rules apply when the H-2A worker provides his or her taxpayer identification number (TIN) to the employer. For the rules relating to backup withholding and reporting when the H-2A worker does not provide a TIN, see the Instructions for Form 1099-MISC and the Instructions for Form 945.
Additional employment tax information. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and click on Employment Taxes under Businesses Topics. For employment tax information by telephone, call 1-800-829-4933 or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time). Additionally, you can call IRS TeleTax at 1-800-829-4477 for recorded information by topic.
Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs). The IRS has published final Regulations section 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv) under which QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities are treated as separate entities for employment tax purposes. For more information, see Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.
Differential wage payments. Qualified differential wage payments made by employers to individuals serving in the Armed Forces after 2008 are subject to income tax withholding but not social security, Medicare, or FUTA taxes. For more information, see Publication 15 (Circular E).
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer. You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, electronic fund 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 How To Deposit in section 7. To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477. Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Publication 966, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A Guide To Getting Started.
Electronic payment. Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of paying their taxes electronically. Whether you rely on a tax professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient programs to make it easier.Spend less time and worry on taxes and more time running your business. Use Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to your benefit.For EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (business) or 1-800-316-6541 (individual).Use the electronic options available from IRS and make filing and paying taxes easier. For more information, see Publication 966.
Credit or debit card payments. Employers can pay the balance due shown on Form 943 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.
When you hire a new employee. Ask each new employee to complete the 2013 Form W-4 or its Spanish version, Formulario W-4(SP), Certificado de Exención de Retenciones del Empleado. Also, ask the employee to show you his or her social security card so that you can record the employee's name and social security number accurately. If the employee has lost the card or recently changed names, have the employee apply for a duplicate or corrected card. If the employee does not have a card, have the employee apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 1 for more information.
Eligibility for employment. You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. This includes completing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. You can get the form from USCIS offices or by calling 1-800-870-3676. Contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283, or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov for more information.
New hire reporting. You are required to report any new employee to a designated state new-hire registry. A new employee is an employee who has not previously been employed by you or was previously employed by you but has been separated from such prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days. Many states accept a copy of Form W-4 with employer information added. Visit the Office of Child Support Enforcement's website at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/newhire for more information.
Forms in Spanish. You can provide Formulario W-4(SP) in place of Form W-4 to your Spanish-speaking employees. For more information, see Publicación 17(SP), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos (Para Personas Físicas).For nonemployees, Formulario W-9(SP), Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente, may be used in place of Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.References in this publication to Form W-4 or Form W-9 also apply to their equivalent Spanish translations—Formulario W-4(SP) or Formulario W-9(SP).
Information returns. You may be required to file information returns to report certain types of payments made during the year. For example, you must file Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to report payments of $600 or more to persons not treated as employees (for example, independent contractors) for services performed for your trade or business. For details about filing Forms 1099 and for information about required electronic filing, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for general information and the separate, specific instructions for each information return that you file (for example, Instructions for Form 1099-MISC). Generally, do not use Forms 1099 to report wages or other compensation that you paid to employees; report these amounts on Form W-2.See the General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 for details about filing Forms W-2 and for information about required electronic filing. If you file 250 or more Forms W-2, you must file them electronically. SSA will not accept Forms W-2 and W-3 filed on any magnetic media.
Information reporting customer service site. The IRS operates the Enterprise Computing Center—Martinsburg, a centralized customer service site, to answer questions about reporting on Forms W-2, W-3, 1099, and other information returns. If you have questions related to reporting on information returns, you may call 1-866-455-7438 (toll free), 304-263-8700 (toll call), or 304-267-3367 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have a speech disability). The call site can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
Web-based application for an employer identification number (EIN). You can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online by visiting IRS.gov and clicking on the Apply for an EIN Online link under Tools.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is here to help you. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. We help taxpayers whose problems with the IRS are causing financial difficulties; who have tried but haven't been able to resolve their problems with the IRS; and those who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.You can contact TAS by calling the TAS toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778 to determine whether you are eligible for assistance. You can also call or write to your local taxpayer advocate, whose phone number and address are listed in your local telephone directory and in Publication 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service—Your Voice at the IRS. You can file Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), or ask an IRS employee to complete it on your behalf. For more information, go to www.irs.gov/advocate.
Ordering forms and publications. You can order your 2012 and 2013 employment tax and information return forms, instructions, and publications online at www.irs.gov/businesses. Click on the Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns. You can also visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download other forms and publications.Instead of ordering paper Forms W-2 and W-3, consider filing them electronically
using the Social Security Administration's (SSA) free e-file service. Visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information
www.socialsecurity.gov/employer, to register for Business Services Online. You will be able to create and file “fill-in” versions of Forms W-2 with SSA and can print out completed copies of Forms W-2 for filing with state and local governments, distribution to your employees, and for your records. Form W-3 will be created for you based on your Forms W-2.
Tax Questions. If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-4933 (businesses), or 1-800-829-1040 (individuals), or 1-800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time). We cannot answer tax questions sent to the address provided later for comments and suggestions.
Your employer identification number (EIN).
Amounts and dates of all wage, annuity, and pension payments.
Names, addresses, social security numbers, and occupations of employees and recipients.
Any employee copies of Forms W-2 and W-2c returned to you as undeliverable.
Dates of employment for each employee.
Periods for which employees and recipients were paid while absent due to sickness or injury and the amount and weekly rate of payments you or third-party payers made to them.
Copies of employees' and recipients' income tax withholding allowance certificates (Forms W-4, W-4(SP), W-4P, and W-4S).
Dates and amounts of tax deposits you made and acknowledgment numbers for deposits made by EFTPS.
Copies of returns filed and confirmation numbers.
Records of fringe benefits and expense reimbursements provided to your employees, including substantiation.
If a crew leader furnished you with farmworkers, you must keep a record of the name, permanent mailing address, and EIN of the crew leader. If the crew leader has no permanent mailing address, record his or her present address.
DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.
Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.
United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS.gov and enter "private
delivery service" in the search box.Your private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
Internal Revenue Service
Business, Exempt Organizations, and International Forms and Publications Branch
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enter “Publication 51” on the subject line. You can also send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs. Click on More Information and then click on Comment on Tax Forms and Publications.Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
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.
The following are important dates and responsibilities. See section 7 for information about depositing taxes reported on Forms 941, 943, 944, and 945. Also see Publication 509, Tax Calendars.
File Form 943. See section 8 for more information on Form 943. If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
Furnish each employee with a completed Form W-2.
Furnish each recipient to whom you paid $600 or more in nonemployee compensation with a completed Form 1099 (for example, Form 1099-MISC).
File Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. See section 10 for more information on FUTA. If you deposited all the FUTA tax when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
File Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, to report any nonpayroll federal income tax withheld in 2012. If you deposited all Form 945 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
On February 16. Any Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding for the previous year has now expired. Begin withholding for any employee who previously claimed exemption from withholding but has not given you a new Form W-4 for the current year. If the employee does not give you a new Form W-4, withhold tax based on the last valid Form W-4 you have for the employee that does not claim exemption from withholding or, if one does not exist, as if he or she is single with zero withholding allowances. See section 5 for more information. If the employee furnishes a new Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding after February 15, you may apply the exemption to future wages, but do not refund taxes withheld while the exempt status was not in place.
File paper Forms 1099 and 1096. File Copy A of all paper Forms 1099 with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, with the IRS. For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 below.
File paper Forms W-2 and W-3. File Copy A of all paper Forms W-2 with Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration (SSA). For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 next.
By March 31. File electronic Forms W-2 and 1099. File electronic Forms W-2 with the SSA and Forms 1099 with the IRS. For more information on reporting Form W-2 information to the SSA electronically, visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information webpage at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer. For information on filing information returns electronically with the IRS, see Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically.
This publication is for employers of agricultural workers (farmworkers). It contains information that you may need to comply with the laws for agricultural labor (farmwork) relating to social security and Medicare taxes, FUTA tax, and withheld federal income tax (employment taxes). Agricultural employers report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld federal income tax on Form 943 and report FUTA tax on Form 940.
If you have nonfarm employees, see Publication 15 (Circular E). If you have employees in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, see Publication 80 (Circular SS). Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, contains more employment-related information, including information about sick pay and pension income. Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, contains information about the employment tax treatment and valuation of various types of noncash compensation.
Information on the receipt of the assistance eligible individuals' 35% share of the premium including dates and amounts.
In the case of an insurance plan, a copy of invoice or other supporting statement from the insurance carrier and proof of timely payment of the full premium to the insurance carrier required under COBRA.
In the case of a self-insured plan, proof of the premium amount and proof of the coverage provided to the assistance eligible individuals.
Attestation of involuntary termination, including the date of the involuntary termination for each covered employee whose involuntary termination is the basis for eligibility for the subsidy.
Proof of each assistance eligible individual's eligibility for COBRA coverage and the election of COBRA coverage.
A record of the SSNs of all covered employees, the amount of the subsidy reimbursed with respect to each covered employee, and whether the subsidy was for one individual or two or more individuals.
15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide
15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide
15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
225 Farmer's Tax Guide
535 Business Expenses
583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records
1635 Employer Identification Number: Understanding Your EIN
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