We're about to hire employees and need to know how much federal income tax to withhold and where to send this money along with other employment taxes?

Answer:

You'll need to:

  • Secure a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, from each employee to know how much federal income tax to withhold from your employee's wages.
  • Use Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, and Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, to determine the amount of withholding and the directions on depositing the withheld amounts and other employment taxes. Also, refer to Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, and the Instructions for Form 941, or Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, and the Instructions for Form 944.

Generally, employers are required to file Forms 941 quarterly. However, some small employers (those whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less for the year) may file Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, annually instead of Forms 941. See the Instructions for Form 944 for more information. Employers are required to file Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, annually. See Topic 759 for more information about Form 940. Employers must also file a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, annually for each employee along with a Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, and furnish a copy of the Form W-2 to the employee.  

Monthly or semiweekly deposits may be required for taxes reported on Form 941 (or Form 944), and quarterly deposits may be required for taxes reported on Form 940. Employers should consult each form’s instructions or Publication 15 to determine when and how to make deposits.

The Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes page offers an improved way to file Forms 940, 941, and 944 electronically. Prospective participants must first complete and submit an IRS e-file application. You can complete the IRS e-file application online after registering for e-services.

Additional Information:

We hired a nanny to look after our baby while we work. How do we pay her social security taxes and properly report her income?

Answer:

Your nanny is considered your household employee and you're her household employer:

  • As a household employer, you only withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes if the cash wages you paid her exceed the threshold amount for the year. See Publication 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide.
  • If the amount paid is less than the threshold, you don't owe social security or Medicare taxes.
  • If the amount paid is more than the threshold, you must withhold your employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes unless you choose to pay both her share and your share. The taxes are 15.3% of cash wages. Your share is 7.65% and her share is 7.65%.
  • You may also be responsible for paying federal unemployment tax. Federal unemployment tax isn't withheld from employees' wages.
  • You're not required to withhold income tax from her wages. However, you and your nanny may agree for you to withhold income tax from her wages.
  • If you must pay social security and Medicare taxes or federal unemployment taxes, or if you withhold income tax, you'll need to file Schedule H (Form 1040), Household Employment Taxes. You'll also need to file a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and furnish a copy of the form to your nanny.
  • If you choose, you may pay your household employment taxes with your business or farm employment taxes, and you must include your household employment taxes with those other employment taxes on Form 941, Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, Form 944, Employer’s ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, or Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and on Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return.

Additional Information: