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Instructions for Form 940 (2016)

Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return

Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted.

2016


General Instructions:

What's the Purpose of Form 940?

These instructions give you some background information about Form 940. They tell you who must file the form, how to fill it out line by line, and when and where to file it.

Use Form 940 to report your annual Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. Together with state unemployment tax systems, the FUTA tax provides funds for paying unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. Only employers pay FUTA tax. Don't collect or deduct FUTA tax from your employees' wages.

The FUTA tax applies to the first $7,000 you pay to each employee during a calendar year after subtracting any payments exempt from FUTA tax.

Who Must File Form 940?

Except as noted below, if you answer "Yes" to either one of these questions, you must file Form 940.

  • Did you pay wages of $1,500 or more to employees in any calendar quarter during 2015 or 2016?

  • Did you have one or more employees for at least some part of a day in any 20 or more different weeks in 2015 or 20 or more different weeks in 2016? Count all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. However, if your business is a partnership, don't count its partners.

If your business was sold or transferred during the year, each employer who answered "Yes" to at least one question above must file Form 940. However, don't include any wages paid by the predecessor employer on your Form 940 unless you’re a successor employer. For details, see Successor employer under Type of Return.

If you’re not liable for FUTA tax for 2016 because you made no payments to employees in 2016, check box c in the top right corner of the form. Then go to Part 7, sign the form, and file it with the IRS.

If you won’t be liable for filing Form 940 in the future because your business has closed or because you stopped paying wages, check box d in the top right corner of the form. See Final: Business closed or stopped paying wages under Type of Return for more information.

For Employers of Household Employees . . .

If you’re a household employer, you must pay FUTA tax on wages that you paid to your household employees only if you paid cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter in 2015 or 2016.

A household employee performs household work in a:

  • Private home,

  • Local college club, or

  • Local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority.

    Generally, employers of household employees must file Schedule H (Form 1040) instead of Form 940.

However, if you have other employees in addition to household employees, you can choose to include the FUTA taxes for your household employees on Form 940 instead of filing Schedule H (Form 1040). If you choose to include household employees on your Form 940, you must also file Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return; Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees; or Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return; to report social security, Medicare, and any withheld federal income taxes for your household employees. See Pub. 926 for more information.

For Agricultural Employers . . .

File Form 940 if you answer "Yes" to either of these questions.

  • Did you pay cash wages of $20,000 or more to farmworkers during any calendar quarter in 2015 or 2016?

  • Did you employ 10 or more farmworkers during some part of the day (whether or not at the same time) during any 20 or more different weeks in 2015 or 20 or more different weeks in 2016?

Count wages you paid to aliens who were admitted to the United States on a temporary basis to perform farmwork (workers with H-2A visas). However, wages paid to "H-2A visa workers" aren't subject to FUTA tax. See Pub. 51 for more information.

For Indian Tribal Governments . . .

Services rendered by employees of a federally recognized Indian tribal government employer (including any subdivision, subsidiary, or business enterprise wholly owned by the tribe) are exempt from FUTA tax and no Form 940 is required. However, the tribe must have participated in the state unemployment system for the full year and be in compliance with applicable state unemployment law. For more information, see section 3309(d).

For Tax-Exempt Organizations . . .

Religious, educational, scientific, charitable, and other organizations described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt from tax under section 501(a) aren't subject to FUTA tax and don't have to file Form 940.

For Employers of State or Local Governments. . .

Services rendered by employees of a state, political subdivision or instrumentality of the state are exempt from FUTA tax and no Form 940 is required.

When Must You File Form 940?

The due date for filing Form 940 for 2016 is January 31, 2017. However, if you deposited all your FUTA tax when it was due, you may file Form 940 by February 10, 2017.

If we receive your return after the due date, we will treat your return as filed on time if the envelope containing your return is properly addressed, contains sufficient postage, and is postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the due date or sent by an IRS-designated private delivery service on or before the due date. However, if you don't follow these guidelines, we will consider your return filed when it is actually received. For a list of IRS-designated private delivery services, see Pub. 15.

Where Do You File?

Where you file depends on whether you include a payment (check or money order) with your return. However, mail your amended return to the Without a payment address even if a payment is included.

If you’re in . . . Without a
payment . . .
With a payment . . .
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Cincinnati, OH
45999-0046
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 804521
Cincinnati, OH
45280-4521
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wyoming
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT
84201-0046
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37940
Hartford, CT 06176-7940
Puerto Rico
U.S. Virgin Islands
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37940
Hartford, CT 06176-7940
If the location of your legal residence, principal place of business, office, or agency isn't listed . . . Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37940
Hartford, CT 06176-7940
EXCEPTION for tax-exempt organizations, Federal, State and Local Governments, and Indian Tribal Governments, regardless of your location Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT
84201-0046
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37940
Hartford, CT 06176-7940

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Private delivery services can't deliver to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail an item to a P.O. box address.

Credit for State Unemployment Tax Paid to a State Unemployment Fund

You get a credit for amounts you pay to a state (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) unemployment fund by January 31, 2017 (or February 10, 2017, if that is your Form 940 due date). Your FUTA tax will be higher if you don't pay the state unemployment tax timely. If you didn't pay all state unemployment tax by the due date of Form 940, see the line 10 instructions.

State unemployment taxes are sometimes called "contributions." These contributions are payments that a state requires an employer to make to its unemployment fund for the payment of unemployment benefits. They don't include:

  • Any payments deducted or deductible from your employees' pay;

  • Penalties, interest, or special administrative taxes; and

  • Voluntary amounts you paid to get a lower assigned state experience rate.

Additional credit.

You may receive an additional credit if you have a state experience rate lower than 5.4% (0.054). This applies even if your rate varies during the year. This additional credit is the difference between your actual state unemployment tax payments and the amount you would have been required to pay at 5.4%.



Special credit for successor employers.

You may be eligible for a credit based on the state unemployment taxes paid by a predecessor. You may claim this credit if you’re a successor employer who acquired a business in 2016 from a predecessor who wasn't an employer for FUTA purposes and, therefore, wasn't required to file Form 940 for 2016. See section 3302(e). You can include amounts paid by the predecessor on the Worksheet—Line 10 as if you paid them. For details on successor employers, see Successor employer under Type of Return. If the predecessor was required to file Form 940, see the line 5 instructions.



When Must You Deposit Your FUTA Tax?

Although Form 940 covers a calendar year, you may have to deposit your FUTA tax before you file your return. If your FUTA tax is more than $500 for the calendar year, you must deposit at least one quarterly payment.

You must determine when to deposit your tax based on the amount of your quarterly tax liability. If your FUTA tax is $500 or less in a quarter, carry it over to the next quarter. Continue carrying your tax liability over until your cumulative tax is more than $500. At that point, you must deposit your tax for the quarter. Deposit your FUTA tax by the last day of the month after the end of the quarter. If your tax for the next quarter is $500 or less, you’re not required to deposit your tax again until the cumulative amount is more than $500.

Fourth quarter liabilities.

If your FUTA tax for the fourth quarter (plus any undeposited amounts from earlier quarters) is more than $500, deposit the entire amount by January 31, 2017. If it is $500 or less, you can either deposit the amount or pay it with your Form 940 by January 31, 2017.

In years when there are credit reduction states, you must include liabilities owed for credit reduction with your fourth quarter deposit.

When To Deposit Your FUTA Tax

If your undeposited FUTA tax
is more than $500 on . . .*
Deposit your tax by . . .
March 31 April 30
June 30 July 31
September 30 October 31
December 31 January 31
*Also, see the instructions for line 16.


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If any deposit due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you may deposit on the next business day. See Timeliness of federal tax deposits, later.



How Do You Figure Your FUTA Tax Liability for Each Quarter?

You owe FUTA tax on the first $7,000 you pay to each employee during the calendar year after subtracting any payments exempt from FUTA tax. The FUTA tax is 6.0% (0.060) for 2016. Most employers receive a maximum credit of up to 5.4% (0.054) against this FUTA tax. Every quarter, you must figure how much of the first $7,000 of each employee's annual wages you paid during that quarter.

Figure Your Tax Liability

Before you can figure the amount to deposit, figure your FUTA tax liability for the quarter. To figure your tax liability, add the first $7,000 of each employee's annual wages you paid during the quarter for FUTA wages paid and multiply that amount by 0.006.

The tax rates are based on your receiving the maximum credit against FUTA taxes. You’re entitled to the maximum credit if you paid all state unemployment tax by the due date of your Form 940 or if you weren't required to pay state unemployment tax during the calendar year due to your state experience rate.

Example.

During the first quarter, you had three employees: Employees A, B, and C. You paid $11,000 to Employee A, $2,000 to Employee B, and $4,000 to Employee C. None of the payments made were exempt from FUTA tax.

To figure your liability for the first quarter, add the first $7,000 of each employee's wages subject to FUTA tax:
$7,000 Employee A's wages subject to FUTA tax
2,000 Employee B's wages subject to FUTA tax
+ 4,000 Employee C's wages subject to FUTA tax
$13,000 Total wages subject to FUTA tax for the first quarter
$13,000 Total wages subject to FUTA tax for the first quarter
x 0.006 Tax rate (based on maximum credit of 5.4%)
$78 Your liability for the first quarter
In this example, you don't have to make a deposit because your liability is $500 or less for the first quarter. However, you must carry this liability over to the second quarter.


If any wages subject to FUTA tax aren't subject to state unemployment tax, you may be liable for FUTA tax at the maximum rate of 6.0%. For instance, in certain states, wages paid to corporate officers, certain payments of sick pay by unions, and certain fringe benefits are excluded from state unemployment tax.

Example.

Employee A and Employee B are corporate officers whose wages are excluded from state unemployment tax in your state. Employee C's wages aren't excluded from state unemployment tax. During the first quarter, you paid $11,000 to Employee A, $2,000 to Employee B, and $4,000 to Employee C.

$ 9,000 Total FUTA wages for Employees A and B in first quarter
x 0.060 Tax rate
$540 Your liability for the first quarter for Employees A and B
$4,000 Total FUTA wages subject to state unemployment tax
x 0.006 Tax rate (based on maximum credit of 5.4%)
$24 Your liability for the first quarter for Employee C
$540 Your liability for the first quarter for Employees A and B
+ 24 Your liability for first quarter for Employee C
$564 Your liability for the first quarter for Employees A, B, and C
In this example, you must deposit $564 by April 30 because your liability for the first quarter is more than $500.

How Must You Deposit Your FUTA Tax?

You Must Deposit Your FUTA Tax Using EFT

You must use EFT to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, an EFT is made using EFTPS. To get more information or to enroll in EFTPS, visit EFTPS website at www.eftps.gov, or call 1-800-555-4477, 1-800-733–4829 (TDD), or 1-800-244-4829 (Spanish). Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966.

If your business is new, IRS will automatically pre-enroll you in EFTPS when you apply for an EIN. Follow the instructions on your EIN package to activate your enrollment.

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For an EFTPS deposit to be on time, you must submit the deposit by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day before the date the deposit is due.

Same-day wire payment option.

If you fail to submit 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 Collection Service (FTCS). To use the same-day wire 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 the IRS website at www.irs.gov/payments and click on Same-day wire.

Timeliness of federal tax deposits.

If a deposit is required to be made on a day that isn't a business day, the deposit is considered timely if it is made by the close of the next business day. A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term "legal holiday" for deposit purposes includes only those legal holidays in the District of Columbia. For a list of legal holidays, see Pub. 15.

How Can You Avoid Penalties and Interest?

Penalties and interest are assessed at a rate set by law on taxes paid late, returns filed late or incorrectly, insufficient payments made, and failure to make deposits using EFT.

You can avoid paying penalties and interest if you:

  • Deposit or pay your tax when it is due,

  • File your completed Form 940 accurately and on time,

  • Attach Schedule R (Form 940) if required, and

  • Ensure your tax payments are honored by your financial institution.

If you receive a notice about a penalty after you file this return, reply to the notice with an explanation and we will determine if you meet reasonable-cause criteria. Don't attach an explanation when you file your Form 940.

Can You Amend a Return?

You use the 2016 Form 940 to amend a return that you previously filed for 2016. If you’re amending a return for a previous year, use that previous year's Form 940.

Follow the steps below to amend your return.

  • Use a paper return to amend a Form 940 filed under an electronic filing program.

  • Check the amended return box in the top right corner of Form 940, page 1, box a.

  • Fill in all the amounts that should have been on the original form.

  • Sign the form.

  • Attach an explanation of why you’re amending your return. For example, tell us if you’re filing to claim credit for tax paid to your state unemployment fund after the due date of Form 940.

  • File the amended return using the Without a payment address (even if a payment is included) under Where Do You File.

  • If you file an amended return for an aggregate Form 940, be sure to attach Schedule R (Form 940). Complete Schedule R (Form 940) only for employers who have adjustments on the amended Form 940.

Completing Your Form 940

Follow These Guidelines to Correctly Fill Out the Form

To help us accurately scan and process your form, please follow these guidelines.

  • Make sure your business name and EIN are on every page of the form and any attachments.

  • If you type or use a computer to fill out your form, use a 12-point Courier font, if possible. Portable Document Format (PDF) forms on IRS.gov have fillable fields with acceptable font specifications.

  • Make sure you enter dollars to the left of the preprinted decimal point and cents to the right.

  • Don't enter dollar signs or decimal points. Commas are optional.

  • You may choose to round your amounts to the nearest dollar, instead of reporting cents on this form. If you choose to round, you must round all entries. To round, drop the amounts under 50 cents and increase the amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. For example, $1.49 becomes $1.00 and $2.50 becomes $3.00. If you use two or more amounts to figure an entry on the form, use cents to figure the answer and round the answer only.

  • If you have a line with the value of zero, leave it blank.

Employer Identification Number (EIN), Name, Trade Name, and Address

Enter Your Business Information at the Top of the Form

Enter your EIN, name, and address in the spaces provided. You must enter your name and EIN here and on page 2. Enter the business (legal) name that you used when you applied for your EIN on Form SS-4. For example, if you’re a sole proprietor, enter "Ronald Smith" on the Name line and "Ron's Cycles" on the Trade Name line. Leave the Trade Name line blank if it is the same as your Name.

If you pay a tax preparer to fill out Form 940, make sure the preparer shows your business name exactly as it appeared when you applied for your EIN.

Employer identification number (EIN).

An EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned to sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes. Businesses that need an EIN must apply for a number and use it throughout the life of the business on all tax returns, payments, and reports.

Your business should have only one EIN. If you have more than one and are unsure which one to use, call 1-800-829-4933 to verify your correct EIN.

If you don't have an EIN, apply for one by:

  • Visiting IRS.gov and entering "EIN" in the search box, or

  • Filling out Form SS-4 and mailing it to the address in the Instructions for Form SS-4 or faxing it to the number in the Instructions for Form SS-4.

Employers outside the United States may also apply for an EIN by calling 267-941-1099 (toll call), but domestic entities may not apply by telephone.

If you haven't received your EIN by the time a return is due, write "Applied For" and the date you applied in the space shown for the EIN on pages 1 and 2 of your return.

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If you’re filing your tax return electronically, a valid EIN is required at the time the return is filed. If a valid EIN isn't provided, the return won't be accepted. This may result in penalties.

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Always be sure the EIN on the form you file exactly matches the EIN that the IRS assigned to your business. Don't use a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) on forms that ask for an EIN. Filing a Form 940 with an incorrect EIN or using the EIN of another's business may result in penalties and delays in processing your return.



Tell Us if You Change Your Business Name or Business Address

Notify the IRS immediately if you change your business name or address.

Name change.

Write to the IRS office where you filed your return (using the Without a payment address under Where Do You File, earlier) to notify the IRS of any name change. See Pub. 1635 to see if you need to also apply for a new EIN.



Address change.

Complete and mail Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of an address change. Don’t mail Form 8822-B with your Form 940.



Type of Return

Review the box at the top of the form. If any line applies to you, check the appropriate box to tell us which type of return you’re filing. You may check more than one box.

Amended.

If this is an amended return that you’re filing to correct a return that you previously filed, check box a.



Successor employer.

Check box b if you‘re a successor employer and:

  • You’re reporting wages paid before you acquired the business by a predecessor who was required to file a Form 940 because the predecessor was an employer for FUTA tax purposes, or

  • You’re claiming a special credit for state unemployment tax paid before you acquired the business by a predecessor who wasn't required to file a Form 940 because the predecessor wasn't an employer for FUTA tax purposes.

A successor employer is an employer who:

  • Acquires substantially all the property used in a trade or business of another person (predecessor) or used in a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor, and

  • Immediately after the acquisition, employs one or more people who were employed by the predecessor.



No payments to employees in 2016.

If you’re not liable for FUTA tax for 2016 because you made no payments to employees in 2016, check box c. Then go to Part 7, sign the form, and file it with the IRS.



Final: Business closed or stopped paying wages.

If this is a final return because you went out of business or stopped paying wages and you won't be liable for filing Form 940 in the future, check box d. Complete all applicable lines on the form, sign it in Part 7, and file it with the IRS. Include a statement showing the address at which your records will be kept and the name of the person keeping the records.



Disregarded entities.

A disregarded entity is required to file Form 940 using its name and EIN, not the name and EIN of its owner. An entity that has a single owner and is disregarded as separate from its owner for federal income tax purposes is treated as a separate entity for purposes of payment and reporting federal employment taxes. If the entity doesn't currently have an EIN, it must apply for one using one of the methods under Employer identification number (EIN), earlier. Disregarded entities include single-owner limited liability companies (LLCs) that haven't elected to be taxed as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, qualified subchapter S subsidiaries, and certain foreign entities treated as disregarded entities for U.S. income tax purposes. Although a disregarded entity is treated as a separate entity for employment tax purposes, it isn't subject to FUTA tax if it is owned by a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) and isn't required to file Form 940. For more information, see Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries in the Introduction section of Pub. 15.



Specific Instructions

Part 1: Tell Us About Your Return

1. If You Were Required to Pay Your State Unemployment Tax In . . .

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You must complete line 1a or line 1b even if you were not required to pay any state unemployment tax because your state unemployment tax rate(s) was zero. You may leave lines 1a and 1b blank only if all of the wages you paid to all employees in all states were excluded from state unemployment tax. If you leave lines 1a and 1b blank, and line 7 is more than zero, you must complete line 9 because all of the taxable FUTA wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment tax.

Identify the state(s) where you were required to pay state unemployment taxes.

1a. One state only.

Enter the two-letter U.S. Postal Service abbreviation for the state where you were required to pay your state unemployment tax on line 1a. For a list of state abbreviations, see the Schedule A (Form 940) instructions or visit the website for the U.S. Postal Service at www.usps.com.



1b. More than one state (you’re a multi-state employer).

Check the box on line 1b. Then fill out Schedule A (Form 940) and attach it to your Form 940.



2. If You Paid Wages in a State That is Subject to Credit Reduction

A state that hasn't repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits is called a "credit reduction state." The U.S. Department of Labor determines which states are credit reduction states.

If you paid wages that are subject to the unemployment tax laws of a credit reduction state, you may have to pay more FUTA tax when filing your Form 940.

For tax year 2016, there are credit reduction states. If you paid wages subject to the unemployment tax laws of these states, check the box on line 2 and fill out Schedule A (Form 940). See the instructions for line 9 before completing the Schedule A (Form 940).

Part 2: Determine Your FUTA Tax Before Adjustments

If any line in Part 2 doesn't apply, leave it blank.

3. Total Payments to All Employees

Report the total payments you made during the calendar year on line 3. Include payments for the services of all employees, even if the payments aren't taxable for FUTA. Your method of payment doesn't determine whether payments are wages. You may have paid wages hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. You may have paid wages for piecework or as a percentage of profits. Include:

  • Compensation, such as:

    —Salaries, wages, commissions, fees, bonuses, vacation allowances, and amounts you paid to full-time, part-time, or temporary employees.

  • Fringe benefits, such as:

    —Sick pay (including third-party sick pay if liability is transferred to the employer). For details on sick pay, see Pub. 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.

    —The value of goods, lodging, food, clothing, and non-cash fringe benefits.

    —Section 125 (cafeteria) plan benefits.

  • Retirement/Pension, such as:

    —Employer contributions to a 401(k) plan, payments to an Archer MSA, payments under adoption assistance programs, and contributions to SIMPLE retirement accounts (including elective salary reduction contributions).

    —Amounts deferred under a non-qualified deferred compensation plan.

  • Other payments, such as:

    —Tips of $20 or more in a month that your employees reported to you.

    —Payments made by a predecessor employer to the employees of a business you acquired.

    —Payments to nonemployees who are treated as your employees by the state unemployment tax agency.

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Wages may be subject to FUTA tax even if they are excluded from your state's unemployment tax.

For details on wages and other compensation, see section 5 of Pub. 15-A.

Example:

You had 3 employees. You paid $44,000 to Employee A, $8,000 to Employee B, and $16,000 to Employee C.

$44,000 Amount paid to Employee A
8,000 Amount paid to Employee B
+ 16,000 Amount paid to Employee C
$68,000 Total payments to employees. You would enter this amount on line 3.


4. Payments Exempt from FUTA Tax

If you enter an amount on line 4, check the appropriate box or boxes on lines 4a through 4e to show the types of payments exempt from FUTA tax. You only report a payment as exempt from FUTA tax on line 4 if you included the payment on line 3.

Some payments are exempt from FUTA tax because the payments aren't included in the definition of wages or the services aren't included in the definition of employment. Payments exempt from FUTA tax may include:

  • Fringe benefits, such as:

    —The value of certain meals and lodging.

    —Contributions to accident or health plans for employees, including certain employer payments to a Health Savings Account or an Archer MSA.

    —Employer reimbursements (including payments to a third party) for qualified moving expenses, to the extent that these expenses would otherwise be deductible by the employee.

    —Payments for benefits excluded under section 125 (cafeteria) plans.

  • Group term life insurance.

    For information about group term life insurance and other payments for fringe benefits that may be exempt from FUTA tax, see Pub. 15-B.

  • Retirement/Pension, such as employer contributions to a qualified plan, including a SIMPLE retirement account (other than elective salary reduction contributions) and a 401(k) plan.

  • Dependent care, such as payments (up to $5,000 per employee, $2,500 if married filing separately) for a qualifying person's care that allows your employees to work and that would be excludable by the employee under section 129.

  • Other payments, such as:

    —All non-cash payments and certain cash payments for agricultural labor, and all payments to "H-2A" visa workers. See For Agricultural Employers, earlier, or see Pub. 51.

    —Payments made under a workers' compensation law because of a work-related injury or sickness. See section 6 of Pub. 15-A.

    —Payments for domestic services if you didn't pay cash wages of $1,000 or more (for all domestic employees) in any calendar quarter in 2015 or 2016, or if you file Schedule H (Form 1040). See For Employers of Household Employees, earlier, or Pub. 926.

    —Payments for services provided to you by your parent, spouse, or child under the age of 21. See section 3 of Pub. 15.

    —Payments for certain fishing activities. See Pub. 334,Tax Guide for Small Business.

    —Payments to certain statutory employees. See section 1 of Pub. 15-A.

    —Payments to nonemployees who are treated as your employees by the state unemployment tax agency.

See section 3306 and its related regulations for more information about FUTA taxation of retirement plan contributions, dependent care payments, and other payments.

For more information on payments exempt from FUTA tax, see section 15 in Pub. 15.

Example:

You had 3 employees. You paid $44,000 to Employee A including $2,000 in health insurance benefits. You paid $8,000 to Employee B, including $500 in retirement benefits. You paid $16,000 to Employee C, including $2,000 in health and retirement benefits.

$ 2,000 Health insurance benefits for Employee A
500 Retirement benefits for Employee B
+ 2,000 Health and retirement benefits for Employee C
$4,500 Total payments exempt from FUTA tax. You would enter this amount on line 4 and check boxes 4a and 4c.


5. Total of Payments Made to Each Employee in Excess of $7,000

Only the first $7,000 you paid to each employee in a calendar year, after subtracting any payments exempt from FUTA tax, is subject to FUTA tax. This $7,000 is called the FUTA wage base.

Enter on line 5 the total of the payments over the FUTA wage base you paid to each employee during 2016 after subtracting any payments exempt from FUTA tax shown on line 4.

Following our example:

You had three employees. You paid $44,000 to Employee A, $8,000 to Employee B, and $16,000 to Employee C, including a total of $4,500 in payments exempt from FUTA tax for all three employees. To determine the total payments made to each employee in excess of the FUTA wage base, the payments exempt from FUTA tax and the FUTA wage base must be subtracted from total payments. These amounts are shown in parentheses.
Employees A B C
Total payments to employees $44,000 $8,000 $16,000
Payments exempt from FUTA tax (2,000) (500) (2,000)
FUTA wage base (7,000) (7,000) (7,000)
$35,000 $ 500 $ 7,000
Total of payments made to each employee in excess of the FUTA wage base. You would enter this amount on line 5. $42,500


If you’re a successor employer . . .

When you figure the payments made to each employee in excess of the FUTA wage base, you may include the payments that the predecessor made to the employees who continue to work for you only if the predecessor was an employer for FUTA tax purposes resulting in the predecessor being required to file Form 940.

Example for successor employers:

During the calendar year, the predecessor employer paid $5,000 to Employee A. You acquired the predecessor's business. After the acquisition, you employed Employee A and paid Employee A an additional $3,000 in wages. None of the amounts paid to Employee A were payments exempt from FUTA tax.
$5,000 Wages paid by predecessor employer
+ 3,000 Wages paid by you
$8,000 Total payments to Employee A. You would include this amount on line 3.
$8,000 Total payments to Employee A
– 7,000 FUTA wage base
$1,000 Payments made to Employee A in excess of the FUTA wage base.
$1,000 Payments made to Employee A in excess of the FUTA wage base.
+ 5,000 Taxable FUTA wages paid by predecessor employer
$6,000 You would include this amount on line 5.




6. Subtotal

To figure your subtotal, add the amounts on lines 4 and 5 and enter the result on line 6.

line 4
+ line 5
line 6

7. Total Taxable FUTA Wages

To figure your total taxable FUTA wages, subtract line 6 from line 3 and enter the result on line 7.

line 3
− line 6
line 7

8. FUTA Tax Before Adjustments

To figure your total FUTA tax before adjustments, multiply line 7 by 0.006 and then enter the result on line 8.

line 7
x 0.006
line 8

Part 3: Determine Your Adjustments

If any line in Part 3 doesn't apply, leave it blank.

9. If ALL of the Taxable FUTA Wages You Paid Were Excluded from State Unemployment Tax. . .

This is an Image: caution.gif

Line 9 doesn't apply to FUTA wages on which you paid no state unemployment tax only because the state assigned you a tax rate of zero percent.

If all of the taxable FUTA wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment tax, multiply line 7 by 0.054 and enter the result on line 9.

line 7
x 0.054
line 9

If you weren't required to pay state unemployment tax because all of the wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment tax, you must pay FUTA tax at the 6.0% (0.060) rate. For example, if your state unemployment tax law excludes wages paid to corporate officers or employees in specific occupations, and the only wages you paid were to corporate officers or employees in those specific occupations, you must pay FUTA tax on those wages at the full FUTA rate of 6.0% (0.060). When you figured the FUTA tax before adjustments on line 8, it was based on the maximum allowable credit (5.4%) for state unemployment tax payments. Because you didn't pay state unemployment tax, you don't have a credit and must figure this adjustment.

If line 9 applies to you, lines 10 and 11 don't apply to you.

Therefore, leave lines 10 and 11 blank. Don't fill out the worksheet in these instructions. Complete Schedule A (Form 940) only if you’re a multi-state employer.



10. If SOME of the Taxable FUTA Wages You Paid Were Excluded From State Unemployment Tax, or You Paid any State Unemployment Tax Late...

You must fill out the worksheet on the next page if:

  • Some of the taxable FUTA wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment, or

  • Any of your payments of state unemployment tax were late.

The worksheet takes you step by step through the process of figuring your credit. At the end of the worksheet you'll find an example of how to use it. Don't complete the worksheet if line 9 applied to you (see the instructions for line 9 above).

Before you can properly fill out the worksheet, you will need to gather the following information.

  • Taxable FUTA wages (Form 940, line 7).

  • Taxable state unemployment wages (state and federal wage bases may differ).

  • The experience rates assigned to you by the states where you paid wages.

  • The amount of state unemployment taxes you paid on time. (On time means that you paid the state unemployment taxes by the due date for filing Form 940.)

  • The amount of state unemployment taxes you paid late. (Late means after the due date for filing Form 940.)

    This is an Image: caution.gif

    Don't include any penalties, interest, or unemployment taxes deducted from your employees' pay in the amount of state unemployment taxes. Also, don't include as state unemployment taxes any special administrative taxes or voluntary contributions you paid to get a lower assigned experience rate or any surcharges, excise taxes, or employment and training taxes. (These items are generally listed as separate items on the state's quarterly wage report.)



For line 3 of the worksheet:

  • If any of the experience rates assigned to you were less than 5.4% for any part of the calendar year, you must list each assigned experience rate separately on the worksheet.

  • If you were assigned six or more experience rates that were less than 5.4% for any part of the calendar year, you must use another sheet to figure the additional credits and then include those additional credits in your line 3 total.

After you complete the worksheet, enter the amount from line 7 of the worksheet on Form 940, line 10. Don't attach the worksheet to your Form 940. Keep it with your records.



Worksheet—Line 10

Before you begin:

Read the Example on the next page before completing this worksheet.

Use this worksheet to figure your credit if:

  • Some of the wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment tax, OR

  • You paid any state unemployment tax late.

For this worksheet, don't round your figures.

Before you can properly fill out this worksheet, you must gather this information:
Taxable FUTA wages (Form 940, line 7)
Taxable state unemployment wages
The experience rates assigned to you by the states where you paid wages
The amount of state unemployment taxes you paid on time. (On time means that you paid the state unemployment taxes by the due date for filing Form 940.) Include any state unemployment taxes you paid on nonemployees who were treated as employees by your state unemployment agency.
The amount of state unemployment taxes you paid late. (Late means after the due date for filing Form 940.)
1. Maximum allowable credit — Enter Form 940, line 7
(Form 940, line 7 x 0.054 = line 1).
. x 0.054 on line 1 1. .
2. Credit for timely state unemployment tax payments — How much did you pay on time? 2. .
If line 2 is equal to or more than line 1, STOP here. This is an Image: stop.gif
You’ve completed the worksheet. Leave Form 940, line 10 blank.
If line 2 is less than line 1, continue this worksheet.
3. Additional credit — Were ALL of your assigned experience rates 5.4% or more?
If yes, enter zero on line 3. Then go to line 4 of this worksheet.
If no, fill out the computations below. List ONLY THOSE STATES for which your assigned experience rate for any part of the calendar year was less than 5.4%.
State Computation rate
The difference between 5.4%
(0.054) and your assigned experience rate (0.054 – .XXX (assigned experience rate) = computation rate)
Taxable state unemployment wages at assigned experience rate Additional Credit
1. . x . = .
2. . x . = .
3. . x . = .
4. . x . = .
5. . x . = .
If you need more lines, use another sheet and include those additional credits in the total. Total .
Enter the total on line 3.
3. .
4. Subtotal (line 2 + line 3 = line 4) 4. .
If line 4 is equal to or more than line 1, STOP here. This is an Image: stop.gif
You’ve completed the worksheet. Leave Form 940, line 10 blank.
If line 4 is less than line 1, continue this worksheet.
5. Credit for paying state unemployment taxes late:
5a. What is your remaining allowable credit? (line 1 – line 4 = line 5a) 5a. .
5b. How much state unemployment tax did you pay late? 5b. .
5c. Which is smaller, line 5a or line 5b? Enter the smaller number here. 5c. .
5d. Your allowable credit for paying state unemployment taxes late (line 5c x 0.900 = line 5d) 5d. .
6. Your FUTA credit (line 4 + line 5d = line 6) 6. .
If line 6 is equal to or more than line 1, STOP here. This is an Image: stop.gif
You’ve completed the worksheet. Leave Form 940, line 10 blank.
If line 6 is less than line 1, continue this worksheet.
7. Your adjustment (line 1 – line 6 = line 7) Enter line 7 from this worksheet on Form 940, line 10. 7. .
Don't attach this worksheet to your Form 940. Keep it for your records.

Example for using the worksheet:

Employee A and Employee B are corporate officers whose wages are excluded from state unemployment tax in your state. Employee C's wages aren't excluded from state unemployment tax. During 2016, you paid $44,000 to Employee A, $22,000 to Employee B, and $16,000 to Employee C. Your state's wage base is $8,000. You paid some state unemployment tax on time, some late, and some remains unpaid.
Here are the records:
Total taxable FUTA wages (Form 940, line 7) $21,000.00
Taxable state unemployment wages $ 8,000.00
Experience rate for 2016 0.041 (4.1%)
State unemployment tax paid on time $100.00
State unemployment tax paid late $78.00
State unemployment tax not paid $150.00

1. Maximum allowable credit
$21,000.00 (Form 940, line 7)
x 0.054 (maximum credit rate)
$1,134.00 1. $1,134.00
2. Credit for timely state unemployment tax payments 2. $100.00
3. Additional credit 3. $104.00
0.054 (maximum credit rate) $8,000
– 0.041 (your experience rate) x 0.013
0.013 (your computation rate) $104.00
4. Subtotal (line 2 + line 3) 4. $204.00
$100
+ 104
$204
5. Credit for paying state unemployment taxes late
5a. Remaining allowable credit: (line 1 - line 4) 5a. $930.00
$1,134.00
– 204.00
$930.00
5b. State unemployment tax paid late: 5b. $78.00
5c. Which is smaller? Line 5a or line 5b? 5c. $78.00
5d. Allowable credit (for paying late) 5d. $70.20
$78.00
x 0.900
$70.20
6. Your FUTA credit (line 4 + line 5d) 6. $274.20
$204.00
+ 70.20
$274.20
7. Your adjustment (line 1 - line 6) 7. $859.80
$1,134.00
- 274.20
$859.80 You would enter this amount on Form 940, line 10.

11. If Credit Reduction Applies . . .

If you paid FUTA taxable wages that were also subject to state unemployment taxes in any states that are subject to credit reduction, enter the total amount from Schedule A (Form 940) on Form 940, line 11. However, if you entered an amount on line 9 because all the FUTA taxable wages you paid were excluded from state unemployment tax, skip line 11 and go to line 12.

Part 4: Determine Your FUTA Tax and Balance Due or Overpayment

If any line in Part 4 doesn't apply, leave it blank.

12. Total FUTA Tax After Adjustments

Add the amounts shown on lines 8, 9, 10, and 11, and enter the result on line 12.

line 8
line 9
line 10
+ line 11
line 12

This is an Image: caution.gif

If line 9 is greater than zero, lines 10 and 11 must be zero because they don't apply.

13. FUTA Tax Deposited for the Year

Enter the amount of FUTA tax that you deposited for the year, including any overpayment that you applied from a prior year.

14. Balance Due

If line 13 is less than line 12, enter the difference on line 14.

line 12
– line 13
line 14

If line 14 is:

  • More than $500, you must deposit your tax. See When Must You Deposit Your FUTA Tax, earlier.

  • $500 or less, you can deposit your tax, pay your tax with a credit card or debit card, pay your tax by EFW if filing electronically, or pay your tax by check or money order with your return. For more information on electronic payment options, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/payments.

  • Less than $1, you don't have to pay it.

    This is an Image: caution.gif

    If you don't deposit as required and pay any balance due with Form 940, you may be subject to a penalty.

If you pay by EFT, credit card, or debit card, file your return using the Without a payment address under Where Do You File. Don't file Form 940-V, Payment Voucher.

What if you can't pay in full?

If you can't pay the full amount of tax you owe, you can apply for an installment agreement online. You can apply for an installment agreement online if:

  • You can't pay the full amount shown on line 14,

  • The total amount you owe is $25,000 or less, and

  • You can pay the liability in full in 24 months.

To apply using the Online Payment Agreement Application, go to IRS.gov, click on Tools, then click on Online Payment Agreement.

Under an installment agreement, you can pay what you owe in monthly installments. There are certain conditions you must meet to enter into and maintain an installment agreement, such as paying the liability within 24 months, and making all required deposits and timely filing tax returns during the length of the agreement.

If your installment agreement is accepted, you will be charged a fee and you will be subject to penalties and interest on the amount of tax not paid by the due date of the return.



15. Overpayment

If line 13 is more than line 12, enter the difference on line 15.

line 13
– line 12
line 15

If you deposited more than the FUTA tax due for the year, you may choose to have us either:

  • Apply the refund to your next return, or

  • Send you a refund.

Check the appropriate box in line 15 to tell us which option you select. If you don't check either box, we will automatically refund your overpayment, less any amount we apply to any past due tax account shown in our records under your EIN.

If line 15 is less than $1, we will send you a refund or apply it to your next return only if you ask for it in writing.

Part 5: Report Your FUTA Tax Liability by Quarter Only if Line 12 is More Than $500

Fill out Part 5 only if line 12 is more than $500. If line 12 is $500 or less, leave Part 5 blank and go to Part 6.

16. Report the Amount of Your FUTA Tax Liability for Each Quarter

Enter the amount of your FUTA tax liability for each quarter on lines 16a–d. Don't enter the amount you deposited. If you had no liability for a quarter, leave the line blank.

16a. 1st quarter (January 1 to March 31)

16b. 2nd quarter (April 1 to June 30)

16c. 3rd quarter (July 1 to September 30)

16d. 4th quarter (October 1 to December 31)

To figure your FUTA tax liability for the fourth quarter, complete Form 940 through line 12. Then copy the amount from line 12 onto line 17. Lastly, subtract the sum of lines 16a through 16c from line 17 and enter the result on line 16d.

Example:
You paid wages on March 28 and your FUTA tax on those wages was $200. You weren't required to make a deposit for the 1st quarter because your accumulated FUTA tax was $500 or less. You paid additional wages on June 28 and your FUTA tax on those wages was $400. Because your accumulated FUTA tax for the 1st and 2nd quarters exceeded $500, you were required to make a deposit of $600 by July 31.
You would enter $200 in line 16a because your liability for the 1st quarter is $200. You would also enter $400 in line 16b to show your 2nd quarter liability.

This is an Image: taxtip.gif

In years when there are credit reduction states, you must include liabilities owed for credit reduction with your fourth quarter deposit. You may deposit the anticipated extra liability throughout the year, but it isn't due until the due date for the deposit for the fourth quarter, and the associated liability should be recorded as being incurred in the fourth quarter.

17. Total Tax Liability for the Year

Your total tax liability for the year must equal line 12. Copy the amount from line 12 onto line 17.

Part 6: May We Speak With Your Third-Party Designee?

If you want to allow an employee, your paid tax preparer, or another person to discuss your Form 940 with the IRS, check the "Yes" box. Then enter the name and phone number of the person you choose as your designee. Be sure to give us the specific name of a person — not the name of the firm that prepared your tax return.

Have your designee select a five-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) that he or she must use as identification when talking to the IRS about your form.

By checking "Yes," you authorize us to talk to your designee about any questions that we may have while we process your return. Your authorization applies only to this form, for this year; it doesn't apply to other forms or other tax years.

You’re authorizing your designee to:

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

  • Ask us for information about processing your return, and

  • Respond to certain IRS notices that you have shared with your designee about math errors and in preparing your return. We won't send notices to your designee.

You’re not authorizing your designee to:

  • Receive any refund check,

  • Bind you to anything (including additional tax liability), or

  • Otherwise represent you before the IRS.

The authorization will automatically expire 1 year after the due date for filing your Form 940 (regardless of extensions). If you or your designee want to end the authorization before it expires, write to the IRS office for your location using the Without a payment address under Where Do You File.

If you want to expand your designee's authorization or if you want us to send your designee copies of your notices, see Pub. 947.

Part 7: Sign Here (Approved Roles)

You MUST Fill Out Both Pages of This Form and SIGN It

Failure to sign will delay the processing of your return.

On page 2 in Part 7, sign and print your name and title. Then enter the date and the best daytime telephone number, including area code, where we can reach you if we have any questions.

Who Must Sign Form 940?

The following persons are authorized to sign the return for each type of business entity.

  • Sole proprietorship—The individual who owns the business.

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

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

  • Single-member LLC treated as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes—The owner of the LLC or a principal officer duly authorized to sign.

  • Trust or estate—The fiduciary.

Form 940 may also be signed by a duly authorized agent of the taxpayer if a valid power of attorney or reporting agent authorization (Form 8655) has been filed.

Alternative signature method.

Corporate officers or duly authorized agents may sign Form 940 by rubber stamp, mechanical device, or computer software program. For details and required documentation, see Rev. Proc. 2005-39, 2005-28 I.R.B. 82, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2005-28_IRB/ar16.html.



Paid preparers.

A paid preparer must sign Form 940 and provide the information in the Paid Preparer Use Only section of Part 7 if the preparer was paid to prepare Form 940 and isn't 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 IRS.

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

Generally, don't complete the Paid Preparer Use Only section if you’re filing the return as a reporting agent and have a valid Form 8655 on file with the IRS. However, a reporting agent must complete this section if the reporting agent offered legal advice, for example, by advising the client on determining whether its workers are employees or independent contractors for Federal tax purposes.



Instructions for Form 940 - Notices

Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

We ask for the information on Form 940 to carry out the Internal Revenue laws of the United States. We need it to figure and collect the right amount of tax. Subtitle C, Employment Taxes, of the Internal Revenue Code imposes unemployment tax under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Form 940 is used to determine the amount of the taxes that you owe. Section 6011 requires you to provide the requested information if the tax is applicable to you. Section 6109 requires you to provide your identification number. If you fail to provide this information in a timely manner, or provide false or fraudulent information, you may be subject to penalties.

You’re not required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number. Books or records relating to a form or instructions must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue law.

Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential, as required by section 6103. However, section 6103 allows or requires the IRS to disclose or give the information shown on your tax return to others as described in the Code. For example, we may disclose your tax information to the Department of Justice for civil and criminal litigation, and to cities, states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and possessions to administer their tax laws. We may also disclose this information to other countries under a tax treaty, to federal and state agencies to enforce federal nontax criminal laws, or to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism.

If you have comments concerning the accuracy of these time estimates or suggestions for making these forms simpler, we would be happy to hear from you. You can send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs. Click on More Information and then click on Give us feedback. Or you can send your comments to Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications Division, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Don't send Form 940 to this address. Instead, see Where Do You File, earlier.

Estimated average times

The time needed to complete and file this form will vary depending on individual circumstances. The estimated average time is:
Form Recordkeeping Preparing, copying, assembling, and sending the form to the IRS
Schedule A (Form 940) 16 hrs., 1 min. 15 min.
Worksheet (Form 940) 1 hr., 41 min. 21 min.