Specific Instructions

Line A. Final Return

If you go out of business or end operations and you will not have to file Form 945 in the future, file a final return. Be sure to check the box on line A and enter the date that final nonpayroll payments were made.

Line 1. Federal Income Tax Withheld

Enter the federal income tax that you withheld (or were required to withhold) from pensions (including distributions from tax-favored retirement plans, for example, section 401(k), section 403(b), and governmental section 457(b) plans), annuities, IRA distributions, military retirement, Indian gaming profits, and gambling winnings (regular gambling withholding only). Also enter any voluntary amount that you withheld on certain government payments. If you are required to report federal income tax withholding on Forms 1099 (for example, Form 1099-R or 1099-MISC) or Form W-2G, you must report the federal income tax withheld on 
Form 945.

Federal income tax withholding reported on Form W-2 must be reported on Form 941, Form 943, Form 944, or Schedule H (Form 1040), as appropriate.

Line 2. Backup Withholding

Enter any backup withholding, including backup withholding on gambling winnings.

Regulated investment companies (RICs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) must report any backup withholding on Form 945 in the year that the dividends are actually paid. This includes January payments of dividends declared during October, November, and December of the prior year. See the Instructions for Form 1099-DIV for special reporting requirements.

Line 3. Total Taxes

Add lines 1 and 2. If total taxes are $2,500 or more, the amount reported on line 3 must equal the total liability for the year reported on line 7M of the Monthly Summary of Federal Tax Liability, or line M of Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability.

Line 4. Total Deposits

Enter your total Form 945 deposits for the year, including any overpayment that you applied from filing Form 945-X and any overpayment that you applied from your 2014 return.

Line 5. Balance Due

If line 3 is more than line 4, enter the difference on line 5. Otherwise, see Overpayment, later. You don't have to pay if line 5 is under $1. Generally, you should have a balance due only if your total taxes for the year (line 3) are less than $2,500. If you made payments under the accuracy of deposits rule, see section 11 of Pub. 15.

If you were required to make federal tax deposits, pay the amount shown on line 5 by EFT. If you weren't required to make federal tax deposits, you may pay the amount shown on line 5 by EFT, credit card, debit card, check, money order, or EFW. For more information on electronic payment options, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/payments.

If you pay by EFT, credit card, or debit card, file your return using the Without a payment address under Where To File, earlier. Don't file Form 945-V, Payment Voucher. If you pay by check or money order, make it payable to “United States Treasury.” Enter your EIN, Form 945, and the tax period on your check or money order. Complete Form 945-V and enclose with Form 945.

If line 3 is $2,500 or more and you deposited all taxes when due, the amount on line 5 should be zero.

If you didn't make deposits as required and instead pay the taxes with Form 945, you may be subject to a penalty.

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 5,

  • 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.

Line 6. Overpayment

If line 4 is more than line 3, enter the difference on line 6. Never make an entry on both lines 5 and 6.

If you deposited more than the correct amount for the year, you can have the overpayment refunded or applied to your next return by checking the appropriate box. Check only one box below line 6. If you don't check either box or if you check both boxes, generally we will apply the overpayment to your account. We may apply your overpayment to any past due tax account that is shown in our records under your EIN. If line 6 is under $1, we will send a refund or apply it to your next return only if you ask us in writing to do so.

Line 7. Monthly Summary of Federal Tax Liability

This is a summary of your monthly tax liability, not a summary of deposits made. If line 3 is less than $2,500, don't complete line 7 or Form 945-A.

Complete line 7 only if you were a monthly schedule depositor for the entire year and line 3 is $2,500 or more. See Determining Your Deposit Schedule, earlier.

The amount entered on line 7M must equal the amount reported on line 3.

Report your liabilities on Form 945-A instead of on 
line 7 if either of the following apply.

  • You were a semiweekly schedule depositor  
    during 2015. Don't complete entries A through M of line 7. Instead, complete and file Form 945-A with Form 945.

  • You were a monthly schedule depositor for 2015 and during any month you accumulated nonpayroll taxes of $100,000 or more. Because this converted you to a semiweekly schedule depositor for the remainder of 2015 (and for 2016), you must report your liabilities on Form 945-A for the entire year. Don't complete entries A through M of line 7. For more information, see the $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule in section 11 of Pub. 15.

Third-Party Designee

If you want to allow an employee, a paid tax preparer, or another person to discuss your Form 945 with the IRS, check the “Yes” box in the “Third-Party Designee” section of Form 945. Enter the name, phone number, and five-digit personal identification number (PIN) of the specific person to speak with—not the name of the firm that prepared your return. The designee may choose any five numbers as his or her PIN.

By checking "Yes," you authorize the IRS to talk to the person you named (your designee) about any questions we may have while we process your return. You also authorize your designee to do all of the following.

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

  • Call us for information about the processing of your return.

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

You aren't authorizing your designee to bind you to anything (including additional tax liability) or to otherwise represent you before the IRS. If you want to expand the designee's authorization, see Pub. 947.

The authorization will automatically expire 1 year from the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing your Form 945. If you or your designee wants to terminate the authorization, write to the IRS office for your locality using Without a payment address under Where To File, earlier.

Who Must Sign (Approved Roles)

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

  • Sole proprietorship—The individual who owns the business.

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

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

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

  • Trust or estate—The fiduciary.

Form 945 may also be signed by a duly authorized agent of the taxpayer if a valid power of attorney has been filed.

Alternative signature method.   Corporate officers or duly authorized agents may sign Form 945 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 

Paid Preparer Use Only

A paid preparer must sign Form 945 and provide the information in the Paid Preparer Use Only section if the preparer was paid to prepare Form 945 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 the IRS.

If you are a paid preparer, enter your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) in the space provided. Include your complete address. If you work for a firm, enter 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 this section if you are 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, advising the client on determining whether federal income tax withholding is required on certain payments.

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