- Publication 51 - Introductory Material
- Publication 51 - Main Contents
- 1. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs)
- Employer identification number (EIN).
- When you receive your EIN.
- Social security number (SSN).
- Applying for a social security card.
- Applying for an SSN.
- Correctly record the employee's name and SSN.
- IRS individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) for aliens.
- Verification of SSNs.
- Registering for SSNVS.
- 2. Who Are Employees?
- 3. Wages and Other Compensation
- 4. Social Security and Medicare Taxes
- 5. Federal Income Tax Withholding
- Using Form W-4 to figure withholding.
- Forms in Spanish.
- Electronic system to receive Form W-4.
- Effective date of Form W-4.
- Completing Form W-4.
- Exemption from federal income tax withholding.
- Withholding income taxes on the wages of nonresident alien employees.
- Withholding adjustment for nonresident alien employees.
- Supplemental wage payment.
- Nonresident alien employee's Form W-4.
- Form 8233.
- IRS review of requested Forms W-4.
- Initial lock-in letter.
- Implementation of lock-in letter.
- Seasonal employees and employees not currently performing services.
- Termination and rehire of employees.
- Modification notice.
- New Form W-4 after IRS notice.
- Substitute Forms W-4.
- Invalid Forms W-4.
- Amounts exempt from levy on wages, salary, and other income.
- How To Figure Federal Income Tax Withholding
- 6. Required Notice to Employees About Earned Income Credit (EIC)
- 7. Depositing Taxes
- Payment with return.
- When To Deposit
- Lookback period.
- Adjustments to lookback period taxes.
- Deposit period.
- Monthly Deposit Schedule
- Semiweekly Deposit Schedule
- Deposits Due on Business Days Only
- $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule
- How To Deposit
- Deposit Penalties
- Employers of Both Farm and Nonfarm Workers
- 8. Form 943
- 9. Reporting Adjustments on Form 943
- Current Year Adjustments
- Prior Year Adjustments
- 10. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax
- 11. Reconciling Wage Reporting Forms
- 12. How Do Employment Taxes Apply to Farmwork?
- How To Get Tax Help
- Preparing and filing your tax return.
- Employers can register to use Business Services Online.
- Tax reform.
- IRS social media.
- Watching IRS videos.
- Getting tax information in other languages.
- Getting tax forms and publications.
- Getting a transcript or copy of a return.
- Resolving tax-related identity theft issues.
- Making a tax payment.
- What if I can’t pay now?
- Understanding an IRS notice or letter.
- Contacting your local IRS office.
- The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Is Here To Help You
- 1. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs)
- Publication 51 - Additional Material
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 51, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/Pub51.
2020 withholding tables. The Percentage Method and Wage Bracket Method withholding tables are no longer included in Pub. 51. These tables and the employer instructions on how to figure employee withholding are now included in Pub. 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods. You may also use the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers at IRS.gov/ITWA to help you figure federal income tax withholding.
Redesigned Form W-4 for 2020. The IRS has redesigned Form W-4 for 2020. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in the law, taxpayers can no longer claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions; therefore, the 2020 Form W-4 no longer asks an employee to report the number of withholding allowances that they are claiming. The revised Form W-4 is divided into five steps. Step 1 and Step 5 apply to all employees. In Step 1, employees enter personal information like their name and filing status. In Step 5, employees sign the form. Employees who complete only Step 1 and Step 5 will have their withholding figured based on their filing status's standard deduction and tax rates with no other adjustments. If applicable, in Step 2, employees increase their withholding to account for higher tax rates due to income from other jobs in their household. Under Step 2, employees either enter an additional amount to withhold per payroll period in Step 4(c) or check the box in Step 2(c) for higher withholding rate tables to apply to their wages. In Step 3, employees decrease their withholding by reporting the annual amount of any credits they will claim on their income tax return. In Step 4, employees may increase or decrease their withholding based on the annual amount of other income or deductions they will report on their income tax return and they may also request any additional federal income tax they want withheld each pay period.Employees who have submitted Form W-4 in any year before 2020 aren't required to submit a new form merely because of the redesign. Employers will continue to figure withholding based on the information from the employee's most recently submitted Form W-4. The withholding tables in Pub. 15-T allow employers to figure withholding based on a Form W-4 for an earlier year as well as the redesigned 2020 Form W-4. While you may ask your employees first paid wages before 2020 to submit new Forms W-4 using the redesigned version of the form, you should explain to them that they’re not required to do this and if they don't submit a new Form W-4, withholding will continue based on a valid Form W-4 previously submitted. All newly hired employees first paid wages after 2019 must use the redesigned form. Similarly, any other employees who wish to adjust their withholding must use the redesigned form. A new employee who is first paid wages in 2020, including an employee who previously worked for you and was rehired in 2020, and who fails to furnish a Form W-4 will be treated as if they had checked the box for Single or Married filing separately in Step 1(c) and made no entries in Step 2, Step 3, or Step 4 of the 2020 Form W-4. However, an employee who was paid wages in 2019 and who failed to furnish a Form W-4 should continue to be treated as single and claiming zero allowances on a 2019 Form W-4. See section 5 for additional details. For the latest information about developments related to Form W-4, go to IRS.gov/FormW4.
Social security and Medicare tax for 2020. The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2019. The social security wage base limit is $137,700.The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2019. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $2,200 or more in cash in 2020.
New Form 1099-NEC. There is a new Form 1099-NEC to report nonemployee compensation paid in 2020. The 2020 Form 1099-NEC will be due February 1, 2021. For nonemployee compensation paid in 2019, continue to use Form 1099-MISC, which is due January 31, 2020.
Disaster tax relief. Disaster tax relief is available for those impacted by disasters. For more information about disaster relief, go to IRS.gov/DisasterTaxRelief.
Withholding on supplemental wages. P.L. 115-97 lowered the withholding rates on supplemental wages for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026. See Supplemental wages in section 5 for the withholding rates.
Certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs). The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 required the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for PEOs. PEOs handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs. To become and remain certified under the certification program, certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs) must meet various requirements described in sections 3511 and 7705 and related published guidance. Certification as a CPEO may affect the employment tax liabilities of both the CPEO and its customers. A CPEO is generally treated for employment tax purposes as the employer of any individual who performs services for a customer of the CPEO and is covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between the CPEO and the customer (CPEO contract), but only for wages and other compensation paid to the individual by the CPEO. To become a CPEO, the organization must apply through the IRS Online Registration System. For more information or to apply to become a CPEO, go to IRS.gov/CPEO. Also see Revenue Procedure 2017-14, 2017-3 I.R.B. 426, available at IRS.gov/irb/2017-03_IRB#RP-2017-14.
Outsourcing payroll duties. Generally, as an employer, you're responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and payments are made, even if you contract with a third party to perform these acts. You remain responsible if the third party fails to perform any required action. Before you choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party payer, such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent, go to IRS.gov/OutsourcingPayrollDuties for helpful information on this topic. If a CPEO pays wages and other compensation to an individual performing services for you, and the services are covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between you and the CPEO (CPEO contract), then the CPEO is generally treated as the employer, but only for wages and other compensation paid to the individual by the CPEO. However, with respect to certain employees covered by a CPEO contract, you may also be treated as an employer of the employees and, consequently, may also be liable for federal employment taxes imposed on wages and other compensation paid by the CPEO to such employees. For more information on the different types of third-party payer arrangements, see section 16 in Pub. 15.
Schedule R (Form 943), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 943 Filers. Agents approved by the IRS under section 3504 and CPEOs must complete and file Schedule R (Form 943) each time they file an aggregate Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees. To request approval to act as an agent for an employer under section 3504, the agent must file Form 2678 with the IRS. Form 2678 must be previously filed and approved by the IRS before filing Schedule R. To become a CPEO, the organization must apply through the IRS Online Registration System at IRS.gov/CPEO. CPEOs file Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement, to notify the IRS that they've started or ended a service contract with a client or customer.
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities. For tax years beginning after 2015, a qualified small business may elect to claim up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer's share of social security tax. The payroll tax credit must be elected on an original income tax return that is timely filed (including extensions). The portion of the credit used against the employer's share of social security tax is allowed in the first calendar quarter beginning after the date that the qualified small business filed its income tax return. The election and determination of the credit amount that will be used against the employer's share of social security tax are made on Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities. The amount from Form 6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form 8974, Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities. Form 8974 is used to determine the amount of the credit that can be used in the current year. The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is reported on Form 943, line 12. If you're claiming the research payroll tax credit on your Form 943, you must attach Form 8974 to Form 943. For more information about the payroll tax credit, see Notice 2017-23, 2017-16 I.R.B. 1100, available at IRS.gov/irb/2017-16_IRB#NOT-2017-23, and IRS.gov/ResearchPayrollTC. Also see the line 17 instructions in the Instructions for Form 943.
Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans. Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans may be able to claim the work opportunity tax credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C. For more information, go to IRS.gov/WOTC.
COBRA premium assistance credit. Effective for tax periods beginning after 2013, the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments can't be claimed on Form 943. Instead, after filing your Form 943, file Form 943-X, Adjusted Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees or Claim for Refund, to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit. Filing a Form 943-X before filing a Form 943 for the year may result in errors or delays in processing your Form 943-X. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 943.
Definition of marriage. A marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage is recognized by the state, possession, or territory of the United States in which the marriage is entered into, regardless of legal residence. Two individuals who enter into a relationship that is denominated as marriage under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction are recognized as married for federal tax purposes if the relationship would be recognized as marriage under the laws of at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States, regardless of legal residence. Individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that isn't denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into aren't lawfully married for federal tax purposes, regardless of legal residence.
Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs). Eligible single-owner disregarded entities and QSubs are treated as separate entities for employment tax purposes. Eligible single-member entities must report and pay employment taxes on wages paid to their employees using the entities' own names and employer identification numbers (EINs). See Regulations sections 1.1361-4(a)(7) and 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv).
Differential wage payments. Qualified differential wage payments made by employers to individuals serving in the U.S. Armed Forces are subject to income tax withholding but not social security, Medicare, or FUTA taxes. For more information, see section 5 of Pub. 15.
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT). You must use EFT to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, an EFT is made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you don't want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make electronic deposits on your behalf. Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a same-day wire payment on your behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of the Treasury. Services provided by your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee.For more information on making federal tax deposits, see How To Deposit in section 7. To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, go to EFTPS.gov or call 800-555-4477 or 800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966.
Electronic filing and payment. Businesses can enjoy the benefits of filing tax returns and paying their federal taxes electronically. Whether you rely on a tax professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient programs to make filing and payment easier.Spend less time worrying about taxes and more time running your business. Use e-file and EFTPS to your benefit.
If you’re filing your tax return or paying your federal taxes electronically, a valid EIN is required at the time the return is filed or the payment is made. If a valid EIN isn't provided, the return or payment won't be processed. This may result in penalties. See Employer identification number (EIN) in section 1 for more information about applying for an EIN.
Electronic funds withdrawal (EFW). If you file your employment tax return electronically, you can e-file and use EFW to pay the balance due in a single step using tax preparation software or through a tax professional. However, don't use EFW to make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes using EFW, go to IRS.gov/EFW.
Credit or debit card payments. You can pay the balance due shown on your employment tax return by credit or debit card. Your payment will be processed by a payment processor who will charge a processing fee. Don't use a credit or debit card to make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes with a credit or debit card, go to IRS.gov/PayByCard.
Online payment agreement. You may be eligible to apply for an installment agreement online if you can't pay the full amount of tax you owe when you file your employment tax return. For more information, see the instructions for your employment tax return or go to IRS.gov/OPA.
Dishonored payments. Any form of payment that is dishonored and returned from a financial institution is subject to a penalty. The penalty is $25 or 2% of the payment, whichever is more. However, the penalty on dishonored payments of $24.99 or less is an amount equal to the payment. For example, a dishonored payment of $18 is charged a penalty of $18.
When you hire a new employee. Ask each new employee to complete the 2020 Form W-4, or its Spanish version, Formulario W-4(SP). Also, ask the employee to show you his or her social security card so that you can record the employee's name and social security number (SSN) accurately. If the employee has lost the card or recently changed names, have the employee apply for a duplicate or corrected card. If the employee doesn't have a card, have the employee apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 1 for more information.
Eligibility for employment. You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. This includes completing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. You can get Form I-9 at USCIS.gov/Forms. For more information, go to the USCIS website at USCIS.gov/I-9-Central or call 800-375-5283 or 800-767-1833 (TTY).You may use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) at SSA.gov/employer/ssnv.htm to verify that an employee name matches an SSN. A person may have a valid SSN but not be authorized to work in the United States. You may use E-Verify at e-verify.gov to confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.
New hire reporting. You’re required to report any new employee to a designated state new-hire registry. A new employee is an employee who hasn't previously been employed by you or was previously employed by you but has been separated from such prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days. Many states accept a copy of Form W-4 with employer information added. Visit the Office of Child Support Enforcement's website at acf.hhs.gov/css/employers for more information.
Forms in Spanish. You can provide Formulario W-4(SP) in place of Form W-4 to your Spanish-speaking employees. For more information, see Pub. 17(SP), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos (Para Personas Físicas).For nonemployees, such as independent contractors, Formulario W-9(SP), Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente, may be used in place of Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.References in this publication to Form W-4 or Form W-9 also apply to their equivalent Spanish translations—Formulario W-4(SP) or Formulario W-9(SP).
Information returns. You must file Forms W-2 to report wages paid to employees. You may also be required to file information returns to report certain types of payments made during the year. For example, you must file Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to report payments of $600 or more in 2019 to persons not treated as employees (for example, independent contractors) for services performed for your trade or business. For details about filing Forms 1099 and for information about required electronic filing, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for general information, and the separate, specific instructions for each information return that you file (for example, the 2019 Instructions for Form 1099-MISC). Generally, don't use Forms 1099 to report wages or other compensation that you paid to employees; report these amounts on Form W-2. See the General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 for details about filing Form W-2 and for information about required electronic filing. If you file 250 or more Forms 1099-MISC in calendar year 2020, you must file them electronically. If you file 250 or more Forms W-2 in calendar year 2020, you must file them electronically.
There is a new Form 1099-NEC to report nonemployee compensation paid in 2020. The 2020 Form 1099-NEC will be due February 1, 2021.
Information reporting customer service site. The IRS operates an information return customer service site to answer questions about reporting on Forms W-2, W-3, 1099, and other information returns. If you have questions related to reporting on information returns, you may call 866-455-7438 (toll free), 304-263-8700 (toll call), or 304-579-4827 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability). The call site can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't include tax identification numbers (TINs) or attachments in email correspondence because electronic mail isn't secure.
Change of business address or responsible party. Notify the IRS immediately if you change your business address or responsible party. Complete and mail Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of a business address or responsible party change. For a definition of “responsible party,” see the instructions for Form SS-4.
Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. You can view, download, or print most of the forms, instructions, and publications you may need at IRS.gov/Forms. Otherwise, you can go to IRS.gov/OrderForms to place an order and have them mailed to you. Instead of ordering paper Forms W-2 and W-3, consider filing them electronically using the SSA's free e-file service. Visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at SSA.gov/employer to register for Business Services Online. You’ll be able to create Forms W-2 online and submit them to the SSA by typing your wage information into easy-to-use "fill-in" fields. In addition, you can print out completed copies of Forms W-2 to file with state or local governments, distribute to your employees, and keep for your records. Form W-3 will be created for you based on your Forms W-2.
Tax questions. If you have an employment tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 800-829-4933 or 800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).
Amounts and dates of all wage, annuity, and pension payments.
Names, addresses, SSNs, and occupations of employees and recipients.
Any employee copies of Forms W-2 and W-2c returned to you as undeliverable.
Dates of employment for each employee.
Periods for which employees and recipients were paid while absent due to sickness or injury and the amount and weekly rate of payments you or third-party payers made to them.
Copies of employees' and recipients' income tax withholding certificates (Forms W-4, W-4(SP), W-4P, and W-4S).
Dates and amounts of tax deposits you made and acknowledgment numbers for deposits made by EFTPS.
Copies of returns filed and confirmation numbers.
Records of fringe benefits and expense reimbursements provided to your employees, including substantiation.
If a crew leader furnished you with farmworkers, you must keep a record of the name, permanent mailing address, and EIN of the crew leader. If the crew leader has no permanent mailing address, record his or her present address.
Private delivery services. You can use certain private delivery services (PDSs) designated by the IRS to meet the "timely mailing as timely filing" rule for tax returns. Go to IRS.gov/PDS for the current list of PDSs. The PDS can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.For the IRS mailing address to use if you’re using a PDS, go to IRS.gov/PDSstreetAddresses. Select the mailing address listed on the webpage that is in the same state as the address to which you would mail returns filed without a payment, as shown in the instructions for your employment tax return.
PDSs can't deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.
Zero wage return. If you haven't filed a “final” Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, or Form 943, you must continue to file Forms 940 and 943 even for years during which you paid no wages. The IRS encourages you to file your “zero wage” Forms 940 and 943 electronically. Go to IRS.gov/EmploymentEfile for more information on electronic filing.
Pub. 5146 explains employment tax examinations and appeal rights. Pub. 5146 provides employers with information on how the IRS selects employment tax returns to be examined, what happens during an exam, and what options an employer has in responding to the results of an exam, including how to appeal the results. Pub. 5146 also includes information on worker classification issues and tip exams.
Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
The following is a list of important dates and responsibilities. The dates listed here haven’t been adjusted for Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays (see the TIP next). Pub. 509, Tax Calendars (for use in 2020), adjusts the dates for Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. See section 7 for information about depositing taxes reported on Forms 943 and 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax. See section 10 for information about depositing FUTA tax. Due dates for forms required for health coverage reporting aren’t listed here. For these dates, see Pub. 509.
If any date shown below for filing a return, furnishing a form, or depositing taxes falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the next business day. The term "legal holiday" means any legal holiday in the District of Columbia. A statewide legal holiday delays a filing due date only if the IRS office where you’re required to file is located in that state. However, a statewide legal holiday doesn't delay the due date of federal tax deposits. See Deposits Due on Business Days Only in section 7. For any filing due date, you will meet the "file" or "furnish" requirement if the envelope containing the return or form 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 PDS on or before the due date. See Private delivery services under Reminders, earlier, for more information.
File Form 943. See section 8 for more information on Form 943. If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you may file Form 943 by February 10.
File Form 940. See section 10 for more information on FUTA. If you deposited all the FUTA tax when due, you may file Form 940 by February 10.
File with the SSA Copy A of all 2019 paper and electronic Forms W-2 with Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements. For more information on reporting Form W-2 information to the SSA electronically, visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information webpage at SSA.gov/employer. If filing electronically via the SSA's Form W-2 Online service, the SSA will generate Form W-3 data from the electronic submission of Form(s) W-2.
Furnish each employee with a completed Form W-2.
File with the IRS Copy A of all 2019 paper and electronic Forms 1099-MISC that report nonemployee compensation, with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. For information on filing information returns electronically with the IRS, see Pub. 1220. Other Forms 1099, including Forms 1099-MISC reporting anything other than nonemployee compensation, have different due dates. See the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for more information.
Furnish each recipient to whom you paid $600 or more in nonemployee compensation with a completed Form 1099-MISC.
File Form 945 to report any nonpayroll federal income tax withheld in 2019. If you deposited all Form 945 taxes when due, you may file Form 945 by February 10.
On February 16. Any Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding for the previous year has now expired. Begin withholding for any employee who previously claimed exemption from withholding but hasn't given you a new Form W-4 for the current year. If the employee doesn't give you a new Form W-4, withhold tax as if he or she had checked the box for Single or Married filing separately in Step 1(c) and made no entries in Step 2, Step 3, or Step 4 of the 2020 Form W-4. See section 5 for more information. If the employee furnishes a new Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding after February 15, you may apply the exemption to future wages, but don't refund taxes withheld while the exempt status wasn't in place.
This publication is for employers of agricultural workers (farmworkers). It contains information that you may need to comply with the laws for agricultural labor (farmwork) relating to social security and Medicare taxes, FUTA tax, and withheld federal income tax (employment taxes). Agricultural employers report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld federal income tax on Form 943 and report FUTA tax on Form 940.
When you pay your employees, you don't pay them all the money they earned. As their employer, you have the added responsibility of withholding taxes from their paychecks. The federal income tax and employees' share of social security and Medicare taxes that you withhold from your employees' paychecks are part of their wages that you pay to the U.S. Treasury instead of to your employees. Your employees trust that you pay the withheld taxes to the U.S. Treasury by making federal tax deposits. This is the reason that these withheld taxes are called trust fund taxes. If federal income, social security, or Medicare taxes that must be withheld aren't withheld or aren't deposited or paid to the U.S. Treasury, the trust fund recovery penalty may apply. See section 7 for more information.
If you have nonfarm employees, see Pub. 15. If you have employees in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, see Pub. 80. Pub. 15-A contains more employment-related information, including information about sick pay and pension income. Pub. 15-B contains information about the employment tax treatment and valuation of various types of noncash compensation. Pub. 15-T includes the federal income tax withholding tables and instructions on how to use the tables. For additional information about employment taxes, go to IRS.gov/EmploymentTaxes. For general tax information relevant to agricultural employers, go to IRS.gov/AgricultureTaxCenter.
15 Employer's Tax Guide
15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide
15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
15-T Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods
225 Farmer's Tax Guide
535 Business Expenses
583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records
1635 Employer Identification Number: Understanding Your EIN
If you’re required to withhold any federal income, social security, or Medicare taxes, you will need an EIN for yourself. Also, you will need the SSN of each employee and the name of each employee as shown on the employee's social security card.
Generally, employees are defined either under common law or under statutes for certain situations. See Pub. 15-A for details on statutory employees and nonemployees.
If an employer-employee relationship exists, it doesn't matter what it is called. The employee may be called an agent or independent contractor. It also doesn't matter how payments are measured or paid, what they are called, or if the employee works full or part time.
You’re responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes for your employees. You’re also required to file employment tax returns. These requirements don't apply to amounts that you pay to independent contractors. The rules discussed in this publication apply only to workers who are your employees.
In general, you’re an employer of farmworkers if your employees:
Raise or harvest agricultural or horticultural products on your farm (including the raising and feeding of livestock);
Work in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement, or maintenance of your farm and its tools and equipment, if the major part of such service is performed on a farm;
Provide services relating to salvaging timber, or clearing land of brush and other debris, left by a hurricane (also known as hurricane labor) if the major part of such service is performed on a farm;
Handle, process, or package any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its unmanufactured state, if you produced over half of the commodity (for a group of up to 20 unincorporated operators, all of the commodity); or
Do work for you related to cotton ginning, turpentine, gum resin products, or the operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities.
For this purpose, the term "farm" includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animals, and truck farms, as well as plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities, and orchards.
Farmwork doesn't include reselling activities that don't involve any substantial activity of raising agricultural or horticultural commodities, such as a retail store or a greenhouse used primarily for display or storage. It also doesn't include processing services that change a commodity from its raw or natural state, or services performed after a commodity has been changed from its raw or natural state.
The table in section 12, How Do Employment Taxes Apply to Farmwork, distinguishes between farm and nonfarm activities, and also addresses rules that apply in special situations.
If you’re a crew leader, you’re an employer of farmworkers. A crew leader is a person who furnishes and pays (either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the farm operator) workers to do farmwork for the farm operator. If there is no written agreement between you and the farm operator stating that you’re his or her employee and if you pay the workers (either for yourself or for the farm operator), then you’re a crew leader. For FUTA tax rules, see section 10.
If you're a crew leader, you're not considered the employee of the farm operator for services you perform in furnishing farmworkers and as a member of the crew.
If you and your spouse jointly own and operate a farm or nonfarm business and share in the profits and losses, you may be partners in a partnership, whether or not you have a formal partnership agreement. See Pub. 541 for more details. The partnership is considered the employer of any employees and is liable for any employment taxes due on wages paid to its employees.
Cash wages that you pay to employees for farmwork are generally subject to social security tax and Medicare tax. You may also be required to withhold, deposit, and report Additional Medicare Tax. See section 4 for more information. If the wages are subject to social security and Medicare taxes, they are also subject to federal income tax withholding. You’re liable for the payment of these taxes to the federal government whether or not you collect them from your employees. If, for example, you withhold less than the correct tax from an employee's wages, you’re still liable for the full amount. You may also be liable for FUTA tax, which isn't withheld by you or paid by the employee. FUTA tax is discussed in section 10. Cash wages include checks, money orders, and any kind of money or cash.
For more information on what payments are considered taxable wages, see Pub. 15.
Generally, you must withhold social security and Medicare taxes on all cash wage payments that you make to your employees. You may also be required to withhold Additional Medicare Tax. For more information, see Additional Medicare Tax withholding , later.
All cash wages that you pay to an employee during the year for farmwork are subject to social security and Medicare taxes and federal income tax withholding if either of the two tests below is met.
You pay cash wages to an employee of $150 or more in a year for farmwork (count all cash wages paid on a time, piecework, or other basis). The $150 test applies separately to each farmworker that you employ. If you employ a family of workers, each member is treated separately. Don't count wages paid by other employers.
The total that you pay for farmwork (cash and noncash) to all your employees is $2,500 or more during the year.
The social security tax rate is 6.2%, for both the employee and employer, on the first $137,700 paid to each employee in 2020. You must withhold at this rate from each employee and pay a matching amount. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer on all wages. You must withhold at this rate from each employee and pay a matching amount. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax; all covered wages are subject to Medicare tax.
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to most payments of sick pay, including payments made by third parties such as insurance companies. For details, see section 6 of Pub. 15-A.
Farm operators and crew leaders must withhold federal income tax from the wages of farmworkers if the wages are subject to social security and Medicare taxes. The amount to withhold is figured on gross wages before taking out social security and Medicare taxes, union dues, etc. You may use one of several methods to determine the amount of federal income tax withholding. They are discussed in Pub. 15-T.
The IRS has redesigned Form W-4 for 2020. Employees who have submitted Form W-4 in any year before 2020 aren’t required to submit a new form merely because of the redesign. See Redesigned Form W-4 for 2020, earlier, under What’s New. Employer instructions on how to figure employee withholding are provided in Pub. 15-T. You may also use the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers at IRS.gov/ITWA to help you figure federal income tax withholding.
A Form W-4 that makes a change for the next calendar year won't take effect in the current calendar year.
You must notify employees who have no federal income tax withheld that they may be able to claim a tax refund because of the EIC. Although you don't have to notify employees who claim exemption from withholding on Form W-4 about the EIC, you’re encouraged to notify any employees whose wages for 2019 were less than $50,162 ($55,952 if married filing jointly) that they may be eligible to claim the credit for 2019. This is because eligible employees may get a refund of the amount of the EIC that is more than the tax that they owe.
You will meet the notification requirement if you issue to the employee Form W-2 with the EIC notice on the back of Copy B, or a substitute Form W-2 with the same statement. You may also meet the requirement by providing Notice 797, Possible Federal Tax Refund Due to the Earned Income Credit (EIC), or your own statement that contains the same wording.
If a substitute Form W-2 is given to the employee on time but doesn't have the required statement, you must notify the employee within 1 week of the date that the substitute Form W-2 is given. If Form W-2 is required but isn't given on time, you must give the employee Notice 797 or your written statement by the date that Form W-2 is required to be given. If Form W-2 isn't required, you must notify the employee by February 7, 2020.
Generally, you must deposit both the employer and employee share of social security and Medicare taxes and federal income tax withheld. You must use EFT to make all federal tax deposits. See How To Deposit , later in this section, for information on electronic deposit requirements.
The credit against employment taxes for COBRA premium assistance payments is treated as a deposit of taxes on the first day of your return period. For more information, see COBRA premium assistance credit under Introduction, earlier.
Only monthly schedule depositors are allowed to make an Accuracy of Deposits Rule payment with the return. Semiweekly schedule depositors must timely deposit the amount by the shortfall makeup date. See Accuracy of Deposits Rule and How To Deposit, later in this section.
If you employ both farm and nonfarm workers, don't combine the taxes reportable on Forms 941 or 944 with Form 943 to decide whether to make a deposit. See Employers of Both Farm and Nonfarm Workers, later in this section.
The rules for determining when to deposit Form 943 taxes are discussed next. See section 10 for the separate rules that apply to FUTA tax. Under these rules, you’re classified as either a monthly schedule depositor or a semiweekly schedule depositor.
The terms "monthly schedule depositor" and "semiweekly schedule depositor" don't refer to how often your business pays its employees or how often you’re required to make deposits. The terms identify which set of rules you must follow when you incur a tax liability (for example, when you have a payday).
The deposit schedule that you must use for a calendar year is determined from the total tax liability reported on your Form 943, line 13, for the lookback period, discussed next.
If you reported $50,000 or less of Form 943 taxes for the lookback period, you’re a monthly schedule depositor.
If you reported more than $50,000 of Form 943 taxes for the lookback period, you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor.
If you're an agent with an approved Form 2678, the deposit rules apply to you based on the total employment taxes accumulated by you for your own employees and on behalf of all employers for whom you're authorized to act. For more information on an agent with an approved Form 2678, see Revenue Procedure 2013-39, 2013-52 I.R.B. 830, available at IRS.gov/irb/2013-52_IRB#RP-2013-39.
If the tax liability reported on Form 943, line 13, for the lookback period is $50,000 or less, you’re a monthly schedule depositor for the current year. You must deposit Form 943 taxes on payments made during a calendar month by the 15th day of the following month.
You’re a semiweekly schedule depositor for a calendar year if the tax liability on Form 943, line 13, during your lookback period was more than $50,000. Under the semiweekly deposit schedule, deposit Form 943 taxes for payments made on Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday by the following Wednesday. Deposit amounts accumulated for payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday by the following Friday.
Semiweekly depositors aren't required to deposit twice a week if their payments were in the same semiweekly period unless the $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule (discussed later in this section) applies. For example, if you made a payment on both Wednesday and Friday and incurred taxes of $10,000 for each pay date, deposit the $20,000 by the following Wednesday. If you made no additional payments on Saturday through Tuesday, no deposit is due on Friday.
Semiweekly schedule depositors must complete Form 943-A, Agricultural Employer's Record of Federal Tax Liability, and submit it with Form 943.
Semiweekly Deposit Schedule
|IF the payday falls on a...||THEN deposit taxes by
|Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday||Wednesday.|
|Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday||Friday.|
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. For example, if a deposit is required to be made on Friday and Friday is a legal holiday, the deposit is considered timely if it is made by the following Monday (if Monday is a business day).
If you accumulate $100,000 or more of Form 943 taxes (that is, taxes reported on Form 943, line 13) on any day during a deposit period, you must deposit the tax by the close of the next business day, whether you’re a monthly or a semiweekly schedule depositor.
For purposes of the $100,000 rule, don't continue accumulating a tax liability after the end of a deposit period. For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor has accumulated a liability of $95,000 on a Tuesday (of a Saturday-through-Tuesday deposit period) and accumulated a $10,000 liability on Wednesday, the $100,000 next-day deposit rule doesn't apply because the $10,000 is accumulated in the next deposit period. Thus, $95,000 must be deposited by Friday and $10,000 must be deposited by the following Wednesday.
However, once you accumulate at least $100,000 in a deposit period, stop accumulating at the end of that day and begin to accumulate anew on the next day. For example, Fir Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor. On Monday, Fir Co. accumulates taxes of $110,000 and must deposit this amount on Tuesday, the next business day. On Tuesday, Fir Co. accumulates additional taxes of $30,000. Because the $30,000 isn't added to the previous $110,000 and is less than $100,000, Fir Co. doesn't have to deposit the $30,000 until Friday (following the semiweekly deposit schedule).
If you’re a monthly schedule depositor and you accumulate a $100,000 tax liability on any day of a calendar month, you become a semiweekly schedule depositor on the next day and remain so for at least the rest of the calendar year and for the following calendar year.
You’re required to deposit 100% of your tax liability on or before the deposit due date. However, penalties won't be applied for depositing less than 100% if both of the following conditions are met.
Any deposit shortfall doesn't exceed the greater of $100 or 2% of the amount of taxes otherwise required to be deposited.
The deposit shortfall is paid or deposited by the shortfall makeup date as described next.
You must deposit employment taxes by EFT. See Payment with return , earlier in this section, for exceptions explaining when taxes may be paid with the tax return instead of being deposited.
New employers that have a federal tax obligation will be pre-enrolled in EFTPS. Call the toll-free number located in your EIN Package to activate your enrollment and begin making your tax deposit payments. See When you receive your EIN in section 1 for more information.
Penalties may apply if you don't make required deposits on time or if you make deposits for less than the required amount. The penalties don't apply if any failure to make a proper and timely deposit was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. If you receive a penalty notice, you can provide an explanation of why you believe reasonable cause exists.
If you timely filed your employment tax return, the IRS may waive deposit penalties if you inadvertently failed to deposit and it was the first quarter that you were required to deposit any employment tax, or if you inadvertently failed to deposit the first time after your deposit frequency changed. You must also meet the net worth and size limitations applicable to awards of administrative and litigation costs under section 7430; for individuals, this means that your net worth can't exceed $2 million, and for businesses, your net worth can't exceed $7 million and you also can't have more than 500 employees.
The IRS may also waive the deposit penalty the first time you’re required to make a deposit if you inadvertently send the payment to the IRS rather than deposit it by EFT.
For amounts not properly deposited or not deposited on time, the penalty rates are shown next.
|2%||Deposits made 1 to 5 days late.|
|5%||Deposits made 6 to 15 days late.|
|10%||Deposits made 16 or more days late, but before 10 days from the date of the first notice the IRS sent asking for the tax due.|
|10%||Amounts that should have been deposited, but instead were paid directly to the IRS or paid with your tax return. See Payment with return , earlier in this section, for exceptions.|
|15%||Amounts still unpaid more than 10 days after the date of the first notice that the IRS sent asking for the tax due or the day on which you received notice and demand for immediate payment, whichever is earlier.|
Late deposit penalty amounts are determined using calendar days, starting from the due date of the liability.
If you employ both farm and nonfarm workers, you must treat employment taxes for the farmworkers (Form 943 taxes) separately from employment taxes for the nonfarm workers (Form 941 and 944 taxes). Form 943 taxes and Form 941/944 taxes aren't combined for purposes of applying any of the deposit schedule rules. See Household employees , later, for the rules on household employment.
If a deposit is due, deposit the Form 941/944 taxes and the Form 943 taxes by making separate deposits. For example, if you’re a monthly schedule depositor for both Forms 941/944 and 943 taxes and your tax liability at the end of June is $1,500 reportable on Form 941/944 and $1,200 reportable on Form 943, deposit both amounts by July 15. Use one transaction to deposit the $1,500 of Form 941/944 taxes and another transaction to deposit the $1,200 of Form 943 taxes.
You must file Form 943 for each calendar year beginning with the first year that you pay $2,500 or more for farmwork or you employ a farmworker who meets the $150 test explained in section 4. Don't report these wages on Form 941 or Form 944.
There are two types of adjustments: current year adjustments and prior year adjustments to correct errors. See the Instructions for Form 943 and the Instructions for Form 943-X for more information on how to report these adjustments.
In certain cases, amounts reported as social security and Medicare taxes on Form 943, lines 3, 5, and 7, must be adjusted to arrive at your correct tax liability. The most common situation involves differences in cents totals due to rounding. Other situations when current year adjustments may be necessary include third-party sick pay, group-term life insurance for former employees, and the uncollected employee share of social security and Medicare taxes on tips. Current year adjustments are reported on Form 943, line 10. See section 13 of Pub. 15 for more information on these adjustments.
If you withhold an incorrect amount of federal income tax or Additional Medicare Tax from an employee, you may adjust the amount withheld in later pay periods during the same year to compensate for the error.
If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 943, make the correction using Form 943-X. File a separate Form 943-X for each prior year you’re correcting. File Form 943-X separately. Don't attach Form 943-X to your current period Form 943. You must explain your error on Form 943-X, indicate when the error was discovered, and provide the applicable certifications.
When you discover that you underreported tax on a previously filed return, you must file Form 943-X no later than the due date of the return for the period during which you discovered the error. Pay the amount you owe by the time you file. For example, you discover on June 5, 2020, that you underreported $10,000 of social security and Medicare wages on your 2019 Form 943. You owe $1,530 on the 2019 Form 943. To qualify for an interest-free adjustment, you must file Form 943-X by February 1, 2021, and pay $1,530 by the time you file. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 943-X or go to IRS.gov/CorrectingEmploymentTaxes.
See Revenue Ruling 2009-39, 2009-52 I.R.B. 951, for examples of how the interest-free adjustment and claim for refund rules apply in 10 different situations. You can find Revenue Ruling 2009-39 at IRS.gov/irb/2009-52_IRB#RR-2009-39.
For additional information about the procedure for adjusting employment taxes, see the Instructions for Form 943-X or go to IRS.gov/CorrectingEmploymentTaxes. Also see Treasury Decision 9405, 2008-32 I.R.B. 293, available at IRS.gov/irb/2008-32_IRB#TD-9405.
Note. Current period adjustments for fractions of cents, sick pay, tips, and group-term life insurance are reported on your Form 943.
The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), with state unemployment systems, provides for payments of unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. For a list of state unemployment agencies, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website at oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/agencies.asp. Only the employer pays FUTA tax; it isn't withheld from the employees' wages. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 940.
For 2020, you must file Form 940 if you:
Paid cash wages of $20,000 or more to farmworkers in any calendar quarter in 2019 or 2020, or
Employed 10 or more farmworkers during at least some part of a day (whether or not at the same time) during any 20 or more different weeks in 2019 or 20 or more different weeks in 2020.
To determine whether you meet either test above, you must count wages paid to aliens admitted on a temporary basis to the United States to perform farmwork, also known as "H-2A" visa workers. However, wages paid to "H-2A" visa workers aren't subject to the FUTA tax.
Generally, farmworkers supplied by a crew leader, as defined earlier in section 2, are considered employees of the farm operator for purposes of the FUTA tax unless (a) the crew leader is registered under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, or (b) substantially all of the workers supplied by the crew leader operate or maintain tractors, harvesting or crop-dusting machines, or other machines provided by the crew leader. Therefore, if (a) or (b) applies, the farmworkers are generally employees of the crew leader.
You must deposit FUTA tax by EFT. The deposit rules for FUTA tax are different from those for income, social security, and Medicare taxes. See Deposit rules for FUTA tax , later in this section.
When there are discrepancies between amounts reported on Form 943 filed with the IRS and Forms W-2 and W-3 filed with the SSA, the IRS or the SSA may contact you to resolve the discrepancies.
Take the following actions to help reduce discrepancies.
Report bonuses as wages and as social security and Medicare wages on Forms W-2 and 943.
Report social security and Medicare wages and taxes separately on Forms W-2, W-3, and 943.
Report the employee share of social security taxes on Form W-2 in the box for social security tax withheld (box 4), not as social security wages.
Report the employee share of Medicare taxes on Form W-2 in the box for Medicare tax withheld (box 6), not as Medicare wages.
Make sure that social security wages for each employee don't exceed the annual social security wage base.
Don't report noncash wages that aren't subject to social security or Medicare taxes, as discussed earlier in section 3, as social security or Medicare wages.
Be sure that the amounts on Form W-3 are the total amounts from Forms W-2, excluding any amounts from Forms W-2 that were marked void.
Reconcile Form W-3 with your Form 943 by comparing amounts reported for the following items.
Federal income tax withheld.
Social security wages and Medicare wages.
Social security and Medicare taxes. Generally, the amounts shown on Form 943, including current year adjustments, should be approximately twice the amounts shown on Form W-3.
Amounts reported on Forms W-2, W-3, and 943 may not match for valid reasons. For example, if you withheld any Additional Medicare Tax from your employee's wages, the amount of Medicare tax that is reported on Form 943, line 5, won't be twice the amount of the Medicare tax withheld that is reported in box 6 of Form W-3. If they don't match, you should determine that the reasons are valid. Keep your reconciliation so that you will have a record of why amounts didn't match in case there are inquiries from the IRS or the SSA.
|Type of Employment||Income Tax Withholding, Social Security, and Medicare (including Additional Medicare Tax when wages are paid in excess of $200,000)||Federal Unemployment Tax|
|Farm Employment Includes:|
|1. Cultivating soil; raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity; the care of livestock, poultry, bees, fur-bearing animals, or wildlife on a farm.||Taxable if $150 test or $2,500 test is met. See section 4.||Taxable if either test in section 10 is met.|
|2. Work on a farm if major farm duties are in management or maintenance, etc., of farm tools or equipment or salvaging timber, or clearing brush or other debris, left by hurricane.|
|3. Work in connection with the production and harvesting of turpentine and other oleoresinous products.|
|4. Cotton ginning.|
|5. Operation or maintenance of ditches, reservoirs, canals, or waterways used only for supplying or storing water for farming purposes and not owned or operated for profit.|
|6. Processing, packaging, etc., any commodity in its unmanufactured state if employed by farm operator who produced over half of commodity processed or by group of up to 20 unincorporated farm operators if they produced all the commodity.*|
|7. Hatching poultry on a farm.|
|8. Production or harvesting of maple syrup on a farm.|
|Farm Employment Doesn't Include:|
|1. Handling or processing commodities after delivery to terminal market for commercial canning or freezing.||Taxable under general employment rules. Farm rules don't apply.||Taxable under general FUTA rules. Farm rules don't apply.|
|2. Operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs, or waterways not meeting tests in (5) above.|
|3. Processing, packaging, delivering, etc., any commodity in its unmanufactured state if group of farm operators don't meet the tests in (6) above.|
|4. Household employment.|
|Special Employment Situations:|
|1. Services not in the course of employer's trade or business on farm operated for profit (cash payments only).||Taxable if $150 test or $2,500 test is met (see section 4), unless performed by parent employed by child.||Taxable only if $50 or more is paid in a quarter and employee works on 24 or more different days in current or prior quarter.|
|2. Workers admitted under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on a temporary basis to perform agricultural labor ("H-2A" workers).||Exempt.||Exempt.|
|3. Family employment of a child if the farm is a sole proprietorship or a partnership in which each partner is a parent of the child.**||Exempt from social security and Medicare tax for employer's child under age 18, but counted for $150 test or $2,500 test. The wages are subject to federal income tax withholding if they are subject to social security and Medicare tax.
Taxable for spouse of employer.
|Exempt if services performed by employer's parent or spouse or by employer's child under age 21.|
|* For federal unemployment tax, farmwork includes workers employed by a group of operators if they produce more than one-half of the commodity.
** Payments for the services of your child or spouse are subject to federal income tax withholding as well as social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes if he or she works for a corporation, even if it is controlled by you; a partnership, even if you’re a partner (this doesn't apply to wages paid to your child if each partner is a parent of the child); or an estate or trust, even if it is the estate of a deceased parent. In these situations, the child or spouse is considered to work for the corporation, partnership, or estate, not you.
If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov and find resources that can help you right away.
Getting answers to your tax questions. On IRS.gov, get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.
Go to IRS.gov/Help for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions.
Go to IRS.gov/Forms to search for our forms, instructions, and publications. You will find details on 2019 tax changes and hundreds of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions.
You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.
TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Their job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes 10 basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Go to TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov to help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.
TAS can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And their service is free. If you qualify for their assistance, you will be assigned to one advocate who will work with you throughout the process and will do everything possible to resolve your issue. TAS can help you if:
Your problem is causing financial difficulty for you, your family, or your business;
You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action; or
You’ve tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn’t responded by the date promised.
TAS has offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov/Contact-Us. You can also call them at 877-777-4778.
TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to them at IRS.gov/SAMS.
TAS also has a website, Tax Reform Changes, which shows you how the new tax law may change your future tax filings and helps you plan for these changes. The information is categorized by tax topic in the order of the IRS Form 1040 or 1040-SR. Go to TaxChanges.us for more information.
- Accuracy of Deposits Rule, Accuracy of Deposits Rule
- Additional Medicare Tax, Additional Medicare Tax withholding.
- Adjustments, 9. Reporting Adjustments on Form 943
- Aliens, nonresident, Withholding income taxes on the wages of nonresident alien employees., Withholding adjustment for nonresident alien employees.
- Assistance (see Tax help)
- Calendar, Calendar
- Certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs), Reminders
- Change of address, Reminders
- COBRA premium assistance credit, COBRA premium assistance credit.
- Commodity wages, Noncash wages (including commodity wages).
- Correcting employment taxes, 9. Reporting Adjustments on Form 943
- Crew leaders, Crew Leaders
- Criminal prosecution, "Averaged" FTD penalty.
- Penalties, Deposit Penalties
- Deposit rules
- Differential wage payments, Reminders
- Disaster tax relief, What's New
- Disregarded entities, Reminders
- E-file , Reminders
- Electronic deposits, Electronic deposit requirement.
- Electronic filing, Reminders
- Electronic payment, Reminders
- Employee defined, 2. Who Are Employees?
- Employer identification number (EIN), Employer identification number (EIN).
- Employers of farmworkers, 2. Who Are Employees?
- Exemption from withholding, Exemption from federal income tax withholding.
- Federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes, 10. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax
- 1099-MISC, Reminders
- 1099-NEC, What's New, Reminders
- 843, Form 843.
- 940, 10. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax
- 943, 8. Form 943
- 943-X, Prior Year Adjustments
- I-9, Reminders
- Schedule H (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), Household employees.
- Schedule R (Form 943), Reminders
- W-2, Reminders, Filing corrections to Forms W-2 and W-3.
- W-4, What's New, Reminders, Using Form W-4 to figure withholding.
- W-4(SP), Reminders, Using Form W-4 to figure withholding.
- Marriage, definition of, Reminders
- Outsourcing payroll duties, Reminders
- Unemployment tax, federal, 10. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax
- Income tax, 5. Federal Income Tax Withholding
- Nonresident aliens, Withholding adjustment for nonresident alien employees.
- Supplemental wages, Supplemental wages.
- Work opportunity tax credit, Reminders
- Zero wage return, Reminders