Instructions for Form 943-A (12/2021)

Agricultural Employer's Record of Federal Tax Liability

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

Revised: 12/2021


Instructions for Form 943-A - Introductory Material

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 943-A and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form943A.

What’s New

Adjusting tax liability for nonrefundable credits claimed on Form 943, lines 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, and 12e.

See Adjusting Tax Liability for Nonrefundable Credits Claimed on Form 943, Lines 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, and 12e, later, for instructions on how to report on Form 943-A adjustments to your tax liabilities for the qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities; the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021; the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit for wages paid after December 31, 2020, and before July 1, 2021; the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit for wages paid after June 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022; the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021; and the nonrefundable portion of the COBRA premium assistance credit.

Reminders

Reporting prior period adjustments.

Prior period adjustments are reported on Form 943-X, Adjusted Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees or Claim for Refund, and aren’t taken into account when figuring the tax liability for the current year.

When you file Form 943-A with your Form 943, don’t change your current year tax liability by adjustments reported on any Form 943-X.

Amended Form 943-A.

If you have been assessed a failure-to-deposit (FTD) penalty, you may be able to file an amended Form 943-A. See Correcting Previously Reported Tax Liability, later.

General Instructions

Purpose of Form 943-A

These instructions tell you about Form 943-A. Use Form 943-A to report your tax liability if you're a semiweekly schedule depositor. To determine if you're a semiweekly depositor, see section 7 of Pub. 51, Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide.

On Form 943-A, list your tax liability for each day. Your tax liability is based on the dates wages were paid. Your liability includes:

  • The federal income tax you withheld from your employees' pay, and

  • Both the employer and employee share of social security and Medicare taxes.

Don’t use Form 943-A to show federal tax deposits. The IRS gets deposit data from electronic funds transfers.

Don't report taxes on wages paid to nonfarm workers on this form. Taxes on wages paid to nonfarm workers are reported on Form 941/941-SS, Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, or Form 944, Employer’s ANNUAL Federal Tax Return. Don't attach Form 943-A to your Form 941/941-SS or Form 944. Instead, use Schedule B (Form 941) or Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability (with Form 944).

.This is an Image: caution.gifThe IRS uses Form 943-A to determine if you’ve timely deposited your Form 943 tax liabilities. If you're a semiweekly schedule depositor and you don’t properly complete and file your Form 943-A with Form 943, the IRS may propose an “averaged” FTD penalty. See Deposit Penalties in section 7 of Pub. 51 for more information..

Who Must File?

File Form 943-A if you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor. Monthly schedule depositors who accumulate $100,000 or more of tax liability on any day of a calendar month become semiweekly schedule depositors on the next day and remain so for at least the remainder of the year and for the next year, and must also complete and file Form 943-A for the entire year. The $100,000 tax liability threshold requiring a next-day deposit is determined before you consider any reduction of your liability for nonrefundable credits. For more information, including an example, see frequently asked question 17 at IRS.gov/ETD.

.This is an Image: caution.gifDon't complete Form 943-A if you were a monthly schedule depositor for the entire year or if your total taxes after adjustments and nonrefundable credits for the year (Form 943, line 13) are less than $2,500..

.This is an Image: taxtip.gifIf you use Form 943-A, don’t complete Form 943, line 17..

When Must You File?

Form 943-A is filed with Form 943. Therefore, the due date of Form 943-A is the same as the due date for the applicable Form 943. See the Instructions for Form 943 for due dates. In some situations, Form 943-A may be filed with Form 943-X. See Form 943-X, later, for details.

Specific Instructions

Completing Form 943-A

Enter Your Business Information

Carefully enter your employer identification number (EIN) and name at the top of the form. Make sure that they exactly match the name of your business and the EIN that the IRS assigned to your business and also agree with the name and EIN shown on the attached Form 943 or Form 943-X.

Calendar Year

Enter the calendar year of the Form 943 or Form 943-X to which Form 943-A is attached.

Enter Your Tax Liability by Month

Enter your tax liabilities in the spaces that correspond to the dates you paid wages to your employees, not the date payroll liabilities were accrued or deposits were made. The total tax liability for the year (line M) must equal total taxes after adjustments and nonrefundable credits on Form 943 (line 13). Enter the monthly totals on lines A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and L. Enter the total for the year on line M.

For example, if your payroll period ended on December 31, 2020, and you paid the wages for that period on January 6, 2021, you would:

  • Go to January on Form 943-A filed with your 2021 Form 943, and

  • Enter your tax liability on line 6 because line 6 represents the sixth day of the month.

.This is an Image: taxtip.gifMake sure you have checked the appropriate box above line 17 of Form 943 to show that you're a semiweekly schedule depositor..

Example 1. Fir Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor. Fir Co. accumulated a federal tax liability of $3,000 on its January 11 and January 25 paydays. In the January column, Fir Co. must enter $3,000 on lines 11 and 25.

Example 2. Cedar Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor who paid wages in October, November, and December on the last day of the month. On December 24, 2021, Cedar Co. also paid its employees year-end bonuses (subject to employment taxes). Because Cedar Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor, it must record employment tax liabilities on Form 943-A.

Month Lines for dates wages were paid
October line 31 (pay day, last day of the month)
November line 30 (pay day, last day of the month)
December line 24 (bonus paid December 24, 2021)
December line 31 (pay day, last day of the month)

Example 3. Elm Co. is a new business and monthly schedule depositor for 2021. Elm Co. pays wages every Friday. Elm Co. incurred a $2,000 employment tax liability on October 1, 2021. Elm Co. incurred a $110,000 tax liability on October 8, 2021, and on every subsequent Friday during 2021. Under the deposit rules, employers become semiweekly schedule depositors on the day after any day they accumulate $100,000 or more of tax liability in a deposit period.

Because Elm Co. had an accumulated tax liability of $112,000 on October 8, 2021, it became a semiweekly schedule depositor on October 9, 2021, and must complete Form 943-A and file it with Form 943. No entries should be made on Form 943, line 17, even though Elm Co. was a monthly schedule depositor until October 9, 2021.

Month Lines for dates wages were paid Amount to report
October line 1 $2,000  
October lines 8, 15, 22, and 29 $110,000  
November lines 5, 12, 19, and 26 $110,000  
December lines 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 $110,000  

.This is an Image: caution.gifYour total liability for the year must equal line 13 on Form 943; therefore, don't reduce your total liability reported on Form 943-A by the refundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages, the refundable portion of the employee retention credit, or the refundable portion of the COBRA premium assistance credit. .

Adjusting Tax Liability for Nonrefundable Credits Claimed on Form 943, Lines 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, and 12e

Semiweekly schedule depositors must account for nonrefundable credits claimed on Form 943, lines 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, and 12e, when reporting their tax liabilities on Form 943-A. The total tax liability for the year must equal the amount reported on line 13. Failure to account for the nonrefundable credits on Form 943-A may cause Form 943-A to report more than the total tax liability reported on line 13. Don't reduce your daily tax liability reported on Form 943-A below zero.

Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities (Form 943, line 12a).

The qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities is limited to the employer share of social security tax on wages paid during the quarter that begins after the income tax return electing the credit has been filed. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the payroll tax credit against the liability for the employer share of social security tax starting with the first payroll payment of the quarter that includes payments of wages subject to social security tax to your employees. The credit may be taken to the extent of the employer share of social security tax on wages associated with the first payroll payment, and then to the extent of the employer share of social security tax associated with succeeding payroll payments in the quarter until the credit is used. Consistent with the entries on Form 943-A, the payroll tax credit should be taken into account in making deposits of employment tax. If any payroll tax credit is remaining at the end of the quarter that has not been completely used because it exceeds the employer share of social security tax for the quarter, the excess credit may be carried forward to the succeeding quarter and allowed as a payroll tax credit for the succeeding quarter. The payroll tax credit may not be taken as a credit against income tax withholding, Medicare tax, or the employee share of social security tax. Also, the remaining payroll tax credit may not be carried back and taken as a credit against wages paid from preceding quarters that are reported on the same Form 943 or on Forms 943 for preceding years. If an amount of payroll tax credit is unused at the end of the calendar year because it is in excess of the employer share of social security tax on wages paid during the applicable quarters in the calendar year, the remaining payroll tax credit may be carried forward to the first quarter of the succeeding calendar year as a payroll tax credit against the employer share of social security tax on wages paid in that quarter. For more information about the payroll tax credit, go to IRS.gov/ResearchPayrollTC.

Example.

Rose Co. is an employer with a calendar tax year that filed its timely income tax return on April 15, 2021. Rose Co. elected to take the qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities on Form 6765. The third quarter of 2021 is the first quarter that begins after Rose Co. filed the income tax return making the payroll tax credit election. Therefore, the payroll tax credit applies against Rose Co.'s share of social security tax on wages paid to employees in the third quarter of 2021. Rose Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor. Rose Co. completes Form 943-A by reducing the amount of liability entered for the first payroll payment in the third quarter of 2021 that includes wages subject to social security tax by the lesser of (1) its share of social security tax on the wages, or (2) the available payroll tax credit. If the payroll tax credit elected is more than Rose Co.'s share of social security tax on the first payroll payment of the quarter, the excess payroll tax credit would be carried forward to succeeding payroll payments in the third quarter until it is used. If the amount of the payroll tax credit exceeds Rose Co.'s share of social security tax on wages paid to its employees in the third quarter, the excess credit would be treated as a payroll tax credit against its share of social security tax on wages paid in the fourth quarter. If the amount of the payroll tax credit remaining exceeded Rose Co.'s share of social security tax on wages paid in the fourth quarter, it could be carried forward and treated as a payroll tax credit for the first quarter of 2022.

Nonrefundable portion of credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021 (Form 943, line 12b).

The nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021, is limited to the employer share of social security tax on wages paid during the year that is remaining after that share is first reduced by any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12a, for the qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities; any credit to be claimed on Form 5884‐C, line 11, for the work opportunity credit for qualified tax‐exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans; and/or any credit to be claimed on Form 5884-D for the disaster credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021, against the liability for the first payroll payment of the year, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the year until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Any credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021, that is remaining at the end of the year because it exceeds the employer share of social security tax is claimed on Form 943, line 14d, as a refundable credit. The refundable portion of the credit doesn’t reduce the liability reported on Form 943-A. For more information about the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021, go to IRS.gov/PLC.

Example.

Maple Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor that pays employees every Friday. Maple Co. had pay dates every Friday of 2021 starting January 1, 2021. Maple Co. paid qualified sick and family leave wages on March 12 and March 19. The nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021, is $10,000. On Form 943-A, Maple Co. will use the $10,000 to reduce the liability for the January 1 pay date, but not below zero. If any nonrefundable portion of the credit remains, Maple Co. applies it to the liability for the January 8 pay date, then the January 15 pay date, and so forth until the entire $10,000 is used.

Nonrefundable portion of employee retention credit for wages paid after December 31, 2020, and before July 1, 2021 (Form 943, line 12c).

The nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit is limited to the employer share of social security tax on wages paid during the year that is remaining after that share is first reduced by any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12a, for the qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities; any credit to be claimed on Form 5884‐C, line 11, for the work opportunity credit for qualified tax‐exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans; any credit to be claimed on Form 5884-D for the disaster credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations; and/or any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12b, for the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken before April 1, 2021. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit against the liability for the first payroll payment of the year, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the year until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Any employee retention credit that is remaining at the end of the year because it exceeds the employer share of social security tax is claimed on Form 943, line 14e, as a refundable credit. The refundable portion of the credit doesn't reduce the liability reported on Form 943-A. For more information about the employee retention credit, go to IRS.gov/ERC.

Example.

Maple Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor that pays employees every Friday. Maple Co. had pay dates every Friday of 2021 starting January 1, 2021. Maple Co. paid qualified wages for the employee retention credit on May 7 and May 14. The nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit for May 1 and May 8 is $10,000. On Form 943-A, Maple Co. will use the $10,000 to reduce the liability for the January 1 pay date, but not below zero. If any nonrefundable portion of the credit remains, Maple Co. applies it to the liability for the January 8 pay date, then the January 15 pay date, and so forth until the entire $10,000 is used.

.This is an Image: caution.gifThe Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) amends section 3134 of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to limit the availability of the employee retention credit in the fourth quarter of 2021 to employers that are recovery startup businesses, as defined in section 3134(c)(5). Thus, for wages paid after September 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022, only the wages paid by recovery startup businesses can be qualified wages as described in these instructions..

.This is an Image: caution.gifIf you're no longer eligible to claim the employee retention credit for the fourth quarter of 2021, but you already reduced your employment tax deposits in anticipation of claiming the employee retention credit for the fourth quarter of 2021, you must deposit the amounts initially retained in anticipation of the employee retention credit on or before the due date of the deposit for wages paid on December 31, 2021 (regardless of whether wages are actually paid on that date), based on how you choose to report the tax liability resulting from the termination of the employee retention credit on the Form 943-A. In order to obtain the relief under Notice 2021-65 and avoid an FTD penalty, employers must deposit the amounts in accordance with the due date or dates of the applicable day or days the tax liabilities resulting from the termination of the employee retention credit are reported on the Form 943-A. However, this relief doesn't apply to deposit payments that were untimely due to any circumstance other than the change in eligibility for the employee retention credit or to employers who reduced deposits after December 20, 2021. See Notice 2021-65, 2021-51 I.R.B. 880, available at IRS.gov/irb/2021-51_IRB#NOT-2021-65, for more information..

Nonrefundable portion of employee retention credit for wages paid after June 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022 (Form 943, line 12c).

The nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit is limited to the employer share of Medicare tax on wages paid during the year that is remaining after that share is first reduced by any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12d, for the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit against the liability for the first payroll payment of the year, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the year until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Any employee retention credit that is remaining at the end of the year because it exceeds the employer share of Medicare tax for the year is claimed on Form 943, line 14e, as a refundable credit. The refundable portion of the credit doesn't reduce the liability reported on Form 943-A. For more information about the employee retention credit, go to IRS.gov/ERC.

.This is an Image: caution.gifUnder the Infrastructure Act, you must be a recovery startup business to claim the employee retention credit for qualified wages paid after September 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022 (fourth quarter 2021)..

Nonrefundable portion of credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021 (Form 943, line 12d).

The nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021, is limited to the employer share of Medicare tax on wages paid during the year. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages against the liability for the first payroll payment of the year, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the year until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Any credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021, that is remaining at the end of the year because it exceeds the employer share of Medicare tax for the year is claimed on Form 943, line 14f, as a refundable credit. The refundable portion of the credit doesn't reduce the liability reported on Form 943-A. For more information about the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages, go to IRS.gov/PLC.

Nonrefundable portion of COBRA premium assistance credit (Form 943, line 12e).

The nonrefundable portion of the COBRA premium assistance credit is limited to the employer share of Medicare tax on wages paid during the year that is remaining after that share is first reduced by any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12d, for the nonrefundable portion of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages for leave taken after March 31, 2021, and before October 1, 2021; and/or any credit claimed on Form 943, line 12c, for the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit for wages paid after June 30, 2021, and before January 1, 2022. In completing Form 943-A, you take into account the nonrefundable portion of the COBRA premium assistance credit against the liability for the first payroll payment of the year, but not below zero. Then reduce the liability for each successive payroll payment in the year until the nonrefundable portion of the credit is used. Any credit for COBRA premium assistance that is remaining at the end of the year because it exceeds the employer share of Medicare tax is claimed on Form 943, line 14g, as a refundable credit. The refundable portion of the credit doesn't reduce the liability reported on Form 943-A.

.This is an Image: taxtip.gifYou may reduce your deposits by the amount of the nonrefundable and refundable portions of the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages, the nonrefundable and refundable portions of the employee retention credit, and the nonrefundable and refundable portions of the COBRA premium assistance credit. For more information on reducing deposits, see Notice 2020-22, 2020-17 I.R.B. 664, available at IRS.gov/irb/2020-17_IRB#NOT-2020-22; and Notice 2021-24, 2021-18 I.R.B. 1122, available at IRS.gov/irb/2021-18_IRB#NOT-2021-24..

.This is an Image: taxtip.gifDue to the termination of the employee retention credit for the fourth quarter of 2021 for employers that aren't recovery startup businesses, the IRS will no longer waive FTD penalties for employers that reduce deposits in anticipation of the employee retention credit after December 20, 2021, unless the employer is a recovery startup business. See the Instructions for Form 943 for information on reducing your deposits for COVID-19 credits..

Correcting Previously Reported Tax Liability

Semiweekly schedule depositors.

If you’ve been assessed an FTD penalty and you made an error on Form 943-A and the correction won’t change the total liability for the year you reported on Form 943-A, you may be able to reduce your penalty by filing an amended Form 943-A.

Example.

You reported a liability of $3,000 on January 1. However, the liability was actually for March. Prepare an amended Form 943-A showing the $3,000 liability on March 1. Also, you must enter the liabilities previously reported for the year that didn’t change. Write “Amended” at the top of Form 943-A. The IRS will refigure the penalty and notify you of any change in the penalty.

Monthly schedule depositors.

You can file Form 943-A if you have been assessed an FTD penalty and you made an error on the monthly tax liability section of Form 943. When completing Form 943-A for this situation, only enter the monthly totals. The daily entries aren't required.

Where to file.

File your amended Form 943-A, or, for monthly schedule depositors, your original Form 943-A at the address provided in the penalty notice you received. If you're filing an amended Form 943-A, you don't have to submit your original Form 943-A.

Form 943-X

You may need to file an amended Form 943-A with Form 943-X to avoid or reduce an FTD penalty.

Tax decrease.

If you're filing Form 943-X, you can file an amended Form 943-A with Form 943-X if both of the following apply.

  1. You have a tax decrease.

  2. You were assessed an FTD penalty.

File your amended Form 943-A with Form 943-X. The total liability reported on your amended Form 943-A must equal the corrected amount of tax reported on Form 943-X. If your penalty is decreased, the IRS will include the penalty decrease with your tax decrease.

Tax increase—Form 943-X filed timely.

If you're filing a timely Form 943-X showing a tax increase, don't file an amended Form 943-A, unless you were assessed an FTD penalty caused by an incorrect, incomplete, or missing Form 943-A. Don't include the tax increase reported on Form 943-X on an amended Form 943-A you file.

Tax increase—Form 943-X filed late.

If you owe tax and are filing Form 943-X late, that is, after the due date for Form 943 for the year in which you discovered the error, you must file an amended Form 943-A with the Form 943-X. Otherwise, the IRS may assess an “averaged” FTD penalty.

The total tax reported on line M of the amended Form 943-A must match the corrected tax (Form 943, line 13, combined with any correction reported on Form 943-X, line 20) for the year, less any previous abatements and interest-free tax assessments.

Instructions for Form 943-A - Notices

Paperwork Reduction Act Notice.

We ask for the information on Form 943-A to carry out the Internal Revenue laws of the United States. You’re required to give us the information. We need it to ensure that you’re complying with these laws and to allow us to figure and collect the right amount of tax.

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 its 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 Code section 6103.

The time needed to complete and file Form 943-A will vary depending on individual circumstances. The estimated average time is:

Recordkeeping 6hr., 42 min.
Learning about the law or the form 6 min.
Preparing and sending the form to the IRS 16 min.

If you have comments concerning the accuracy of these time estimates or suggestions for making Form 943-A simpler, we would be happy to hear from you. You can send us comments from IRS.gov/FormComments. Or you can send your comments to Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications Division, 1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Don't send Form 943-A to this address. Instead, see Where Should You File? in the Instructions for Form 943.