IRS recommends business owners e-file payroll tax returns

IR-2019-173, October 21, 2019

WASHINGTON — With the Oct. 31 quarterly payroll tax return due date just around the corner, the Internal Revenue Service today urged business owners to take advantage of the speed and convenience of filing these returns electronically.

IRS Forms 940, 941, 943, 944 or 945 are used to report employment tax information. The IRS recommends electronic filing, or e-filing, of these returns.

E-filing saves taxpayers time by performing calculations and populating forms and schedules using a step-by-step interview process. Once submitted, the information is quickly available to the IRS thus reducing processing time.

E-filing is the most accurate method to file returns. Those who e-file receive missing information alerts. Electronically filed returns have fewer errors, which reduces a taxpayer's chance of receiving an IRS notice.

The IRS takes safeguarding personal information seriously and e-filing security is a top priority at the agency. E-file security standards ensure tax information is protected from security breaches. The IRS requires all authorized IRS e-file providers to ensure only authorized users have access to secure information.

The IRS acknowledges receipt of e-filed returns within 24 hours. The agency retains the information on the tax return, making it accessible to the filer or tax professional around the clock. Unlike filing a return on paper, e-filing assures the filer that the tax return is with the IRS and not misplaced or lost in the mail.

There are two options for electronically filing payroll tax returns:

  • Self-file
  • Have a tax professional file on behalf of the business

Only the business owner can apply for an online signature PIN. Third parties, such as attorneys, CPAs, tax return preparers or other tax professionals can't request a PIN on behalf of the business, nor can they use the PIN to sign returns on behalf of their clients.

For more information on electronic filing of payroll tax returns, see the E-File Employment Tax Forms Page.

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