Modernized e-file (MeF) for Employment Taxes offers a secure and accurate way to file the following forms electronically:
- Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return
- Form 940 (PR), Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return
- Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
- Form 941 (PR), Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
- Form 941-SS, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
- Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
- Form 943 (PR), Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
- Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return
- Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax
The general requirements to participate in the Employment Tax e-file program can be found in:
•Publication 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters
•Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation
•Revenue Procedure 2007-40, Authorized IRS e-file Provider Responsibilities
•Revenue Procedure 2012-32, Requirements for Completing and Submitting Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
•Publication 1474, Technical Specification Guide for Reporting Agent Authorization and Federal Tax Depositors
•Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide
Features of the MeF System
•More Explicit Error Conditions - Error conditions pinpoint the location of the error in the transmission, and provide complete information for each error identified.
•Faster Acknowledgements - Transmissions are processed upon receipt, and acknowledgements are returned in near real-time.
•Integrated Payment Option - Owe Taxes? - You can e-file a balance due return and, at the same time, authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your bank account or pay by credit card. Payments are subject to limitations of the Federal Tax Deposit Rules.
•Electronic Signature Process - Taxpayers and Reporting Agents can continue to sign their returns with their own IRS issued Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Who Can Participate
A taxpayer is any business entity that has employees and has a requirement to file Employment Tax Returns with the IRS.
There are two convenient ways businesses can e-file:
- Employers submitting the forms themselves will need to purchase IRS-approved software. There may be a fee to file these electronically. Also, the software will require a signature by one of two options:
- Employers can have their tax professional file the forms for them. The Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Individuals and Businesses can help employers locate an Electronic Return Originator near them.
Taxpayer Fact Sheet
Electronic Return Originator
An Electronic Return Originator (ERO) is any entity that "originates" the electronic submission of tax returns to the IRS. EROs are identified by an Electronic Filer Identification Number (EFIN). An ERO does not originate its own Employment Tax returns (Form 94x series); an Authorized IRS e-file Provider must be used for this purpose.
ERO Fact Sheet
A Reporting Agent is an accounting service, franchiser, bank, or other person that complies with Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2012-32 and is authorized to prepare and electronically file Employment Tax Returns for a taxpayer. Reporting Agents can sign all the electronic returns they file with a single PIN signature.
Third Party Transmitters
A Transmitter is a firm, organization or individual that receives electronic return data from taxpayers, ERO’s and Reporting Agents may reformat the data (if necessary), batch it with returns from other filers, and transmit the data to the IRS.
Transmitter Fact Sheet
A Software Developer develops software for the purposes of formatting electronic return information according to IRS e-file specifications and/or transmitting electronic return information directly to the IRS. Software Developers must pass Assurance testing before they are approved to e-file. A listing of software that has been approved to electronically file business returns can be found on Approved IRS e-file for Business Providers.
Where Can I Find Additional Information?
Software Developers and Transmitters who are interested in developing software for Employment Taxes can find additional information on the Employment Tax Schemas and Business Rules webpage. This webpage will provide technical guidance and links to the Employment Tax Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schemas, Business Rules, and other useful information by tax year.