- Publication 80 - Introductory Material
- Publication 80 - Main Content
- 1. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- 2. Who Are Employees?
- Employee status under common law.
- Statutory employees.
- Statutory nonemployees.
- H-2A agricultural workers.
- Treating employees as nonemployees.
- IRS help.
- Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP).
- Business Owned and Operated by Spouses
- Farm Crew Leaders
- 3. Employee's Social Security Number (SSN)
- 4. Wages and Other Compensation
- Travel and business expenses.
- Sick pay.
- Fringe Benefits
- 5. Tips
- 6. Social Security and Medicare Taxes for Farmworkers
- 7. How To Figure Social Security and Medicare Taxes
- 8. Depositing Taxes
- Payment with Return
- When To Deposit
- Lookback period for employers of nonfarm workers.
- Lookback period for employers of farmworkers.
- Adjustments to lookback period taxes.
- Deposit Period
- Monthly Deposit Schedule
- Semiweekly Deposit Schedule
- Examples of Monthly and Semiweekly Schedules
- Deposits Due on Business Days Only
- Application of Monthly and Semiweekly Schedules
- $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule
- Accuracy of Deposits Rule
- Employers of Both Farm and Nonfarm Workers
- How To Deposit
- Deposit Penalties
- 9. Employer's Returns
- General instructions.
- Employers with employees subject to U.S. income tax withholding.
- Nonfarm employers.
- Form 944.
- Household employers reporting social security and Medicare taxes.
- Employers of farmworkers.
- Reporting Adjustments to Form 941-SS, 944, or 943
- Current Period Adjustments
- Prior Period Adjustments
- 10. Wage and Tax Statements
- 11. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) TaxU.S. Virgin Islands Employers Only
- 13. Federal Agency Certifying Requirements of Federal Income Taxes Withheld From U.S. Government Employees and Federal Pension Recipients
- Special Certifying Requirements for Federal Agencies
- "Federal Income Taxes" From American Samoa, the CNMI, or Guam
- Certification Procedures
- How To Get Tax Help
- Preparing and filing your tax return.
- 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 cant pay now?
- Understanding an IRS notice or letter.
- Contacting your local IRS office.
- Watching IRS videos.
- Getting tax information in other languages.
- The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help You
- Publication 80 - Additional Material
Publication 80 (2018), (Circular SS),
Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
For use in 2018
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 80, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/Pub80.
Social security and Medicare tax for 2018. The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2017. The social security wage base limit is $128,400.The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2017. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $2,100 or more in cash wages in 2018. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,800 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation in 2018.
Moving expense reimbursement. Public Law 115-97 suspends the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements from your employee's income beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. However, the exclusion is still available in the case of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty who moves because of a permanent change of station. The exclusion applies only to reimbursement of moving expenses that the member could deduct if he or she had paid or incurred them without reimbursement. See Moving Expenses in Pub. 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for the definition of what constitutes a permanent change of station and to learn which moving expenses are deductible.
Disaster tax relief. Disaster tax relief was enacted for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria. Additionally, the IRS has provided special relief designed to support employer leave-based donation programs to aid the victims of these hurricanes and to aid the victims of the California wildfires that began on October 8, 2017. For more information about disaster relief, including the treatment of amounts paid to qualified tax-exempt organizations under employer leave-based donation programs, see Pub. 976.
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities. For tax years beginning after December 31, 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 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 quarter. The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is reported on Form 941 or 941-SS, line 11 (or Form 943, line 12; Form 944, line 8). 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/ar07.html. Also see the line 16 instructions in the Instructions for Form 941-SS (line 17 instructions in the Instructions for Form 943; line 13 instructions in the Instructions for Form 944).
Certification program for professional employer organizations. The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 required the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (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 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. For more information, 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/ar14.html.
Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans. The work opportunity tax credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2020. Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans can 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 December 31, 2013, the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments can't be claimed on Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return—American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Instead, after filing your Form 941-SS, file Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit. Filing a Form 941-X before filing a Form 941-SS for the quarter may result in errors or delays in processing your Form 941-X. For more information, go to IRS.gov/COBRACredit. See the Instructions for Form 943 or the Instructions for Form 944 if you file one of these returns.
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.
Outsourcing payroll duties. Generally, 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. If 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, a customer 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.
Residents of the Philippines working in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Employers must withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes on wages and other compensation paid to residents of the Philippines who don’t hold an H-2 status for services performed as employees in the CNMI after December 31, 2014, unless those workers are eligible for exemption from social security and Medicare taxes under an exception listed in section 12. For more information, see Announcement 2012-43, 2012-51 I.R.B. 723, available at IRS.gov/irb/2012-51_IRB/ar15.html.
CNMI government employees are subject to social security and Medicare taxes. Beginning in the fourth calendar quarter of 2012, CNMI government employees are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944. If you’ve been filing Forms 941-SS and believe your employment taxes for the calendar year will be $1,000 or less, and you would like to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS, you must contact the IRS during the first calendar quarter of the tax year to request to file Form 944. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS before you may file this form. For more information on requesting to file Form 944, including the methods and deadlines for making a request, see the Instructions for Form 944.
Employers can request to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944. If you received notice from the IRS to file Form 944 but would like to file Forms 941-SS instead, you must contact the IRS during the first calendar quarter of the tax year to request to file Forms 941-SS. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944 before you may file these forms. For more information on requesting to file Forms 941-SS, including the methods and deadlines for making a request, see the Instructions for Form 944.
Federal employers in the CNMI. The U.S. Treasury Department and the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation entered into an agreement under 5 U.S.C. section 5517 in December 2006. Under this agreement, all federal employers (including the Department of Defense) are required to withhold CNMI income taxes (rather than federal income taxes) and deposit the CNMI taxes with the CNMI Treasury for employees who are subject to CNMI taxes and whose regular place of federal employment is in the CNMI. For more information, including details on completing Form W-2, go to IRS.gov/5517Agreements. Federal employers are also required to file quarterly and annual reports with the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation. For questions, contact the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation.
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 Form 8822-B instructions.
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 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 8.For more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, go to EFTPS.gov or call 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966.
Electronic filing and payment. Using electronic options can make filing a return and paying your federal tax easier. Use EFTPS to make deposits or pay in full, whether you rely on a tax professional or prepare your own taxes. You can use IRS e-file to file certain returns. If there is a balance due on the return, you can e-file and e-pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) from your bank account while e-filing. Don't use EFW to pay taxes that are required to be deposited. Go to IRS.gov/EmploymentEfile for more information on filing electronically. For more information on paying your taxes using EFW, go to IRS.gov/EFW. A fee may be charged to file electronically.
For EFTPS, go to EFTPS.gov, or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD).
For electronic filing of Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, Wage and Tax Statements; W-3SS, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements; and W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, go to SSA.gov/employer.
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.
Electronic option for filing Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI. Employers in American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands can now use the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) W-2 Online service to create, save, print, and submit up to 50 Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI at a time over the Internet. If you use the SSA's Form W-2 Online service, Form W-3SS will be generated automatically based on your Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI. For more information, visit the SSA's website at SSA.gov/bso.
If you’re required to file 250 or more Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI, you must file electronically. Failure to file electronically may result in penalties. For more information, see section 10.
Credit or debit card payments. You can pay the balance due shown on your employment tax return by credit or debit card. 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. Your payment will be processed by a payment processor who will charge a processing fee.
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.
Hiring new employees. Record the number and name from each new employee's social security card. An employee who doesn't have a social security card should apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 3.
Reporting discrepancies between Forms 941-SS (or Form 944) and Forms W-2. File Schedule D (Form 941), Report of Discrepancies Caused by Acquisitions, Statutory Mergers, or Consolidations, to explain certain wage, tax, and payment discrepancies between Forms 941-SS (or Form 944), and Forms W-2 that were caused by acquisitions, statutory mergers, or consolidations. For more information, see the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 941).
Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online. Go to IRS.gov/EIN to apply for an EIN online.
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.
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.
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.
Recordkeeping. Keep all records of employment taxes for 4 years. These should be available for IRS review.There is no required format for such records, but they should include your EIN; the amounts and dates of all wage payments (including fringe benefits) and tips reported; the names, addresses, and occupations of employees receiving such payments and their social security numbers (SSNs); copies of returns filed; dates of employment; and the dates and amounts of deposits made. Farm employers must keep a record of the name, permanent address, and EIN of each crew leader. See Farm Crew Leaders in section 2.
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 EINs. See Regulations sections 1.1361-4(a)(7) and 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv).
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.
If any date shown next 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 8. For any filing due date, you’ll 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 for more information.
This publication is for employers whose principal place of business is in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or who have employees who are subject to income tax withholding for any of these jurisdictions. Employers and employees in these areas are generally subject to social security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). See section 6 and section 7 for more information. This publication summarizes employer responsibilities to collect, pay, and report these taxes.
Whenever the term "United States" is used in this publication, it includes U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
This publication also provides employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands with a summary of their responsibilities in connection with the tax under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, known as FUTA tax. See section 11 for more information.
Except as shown in the table in section 12, social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes apply to every employer who pays taxable wages to employees or who has employees who report tips.
This publication doesn't include information relating to the self-employment tax (for social security and Medicare of self-employed persons). See Pub. 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, if you need this information.
This publication also doesn't include information relating to income tax withholding. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, contact your local tax department for information about income tax withholding. See Pub. 15 for information on U.S. federal income tax withholding.
An EIN is a nine-digit number that the IRS issues. Its format is 00-0000000. It is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain other organizations and entities that have no employees. Use your EIN on all of the items that you send to the IRS and the SSA for your business.
If you don't have an EIN, you may apply for one online by visiting IRS.gov/EIN. You may also apply for an EIN by calling 267-941-1099, or you can fax or mail Form SS-4 to the IRS. Don't use an SSN in place of an EIN.
If you don't have an EIN by the time a return is due, file a paper return and enter "Applied For" and the date that you applied for it in the space shown for the number. If you took over another employer's business, don't use that employer's EIN.
You should have only one EIN. If you have more than one, write to the IRS office where you file your returns using the "without a payment" address in the Instructions for Form 941-SS, Instructions for Form 944, or Instructions for Form 943. Or call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability (TDD/TTY users) may call 1-800-829-4059. The IRS will tell you which EIN to use. For more information, see Pub. 1635.
Generally, employees are defined either under common law or under special statutes for certain situations. See Pub. 15-A for details on statutory employees and nonemployees.
If you and your spouse jointly own and operate a 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.
You’re an employer of farmworkers if you’re a crew leader. 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.
An employee's SSN consists of nine digits separated as follows: 000-00-0000. You must get each employee's name and SSN and enter them on Form W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI. If you don't report the employee's correct name and SSN, you may owe a penalty unless you have reasonable cause. See Pub. 1586 for information on the requirement to solicit the employee's SSN.
Generally, all wages are subject to social security and Medicare tax (and FUTA tax for U.S. Virgin Islands employers). However, wages subject to social security tax and FUTA tax are limited by a wage base amount that you pay to each employee for the year. The wage base for social security tax is $128,400 for 2018. After you pay $128,400 to an employee in 2018, including tips, don't withhold social security tax on any amount that you later pay to the employee for the year. The wage base for FUTA tax is $7,000 for 2018. All wages are subject to Medicare tax. The wages may be in cash or in other forms, such as an automobile for personal use. Wages include salaries, vacation allowances, bonuses, commissions, and fringe benefits. It doesn't matter how payments are measured or paid.
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to most payments of sick pay, including payments by third parties such as insurance companies. Special rules apply to the reporting of third-party sick pay. For details, see Pub. 15-A.
Determine the value of noncash pay (such as goods, lodging, and meals) by its fair market value. However, see Fringe Benefits, later. Except for farmworkers and household employees, this kind of pay may be subject to social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes.
Back pay, including retroactive wage increases (but not amounts paid as liquidated damages), is taxed as ordinary wages in the year paid. For information on reporting back pay to the SSA, see Pub. 957.
Generally, fringe benefits are includible in the gross income of an employee and are subject to employment taxes. Examples of fringe benefits include the use of an automobile, aircraft flights that you provide, free or discounted commercial airline flights, vacations, discounts on property or services, memberships in country clubs or other social clubs, and tickets to entertainment or sporting events. In general, the amount included in the employee's income is the excess of the fair market value of the benefit over the sum of any amount paid for it by the employee and any amount excluded by law. For more information, see Pub. 15-B.
Tips that your employee receives from customers are generally subject to social security and Medicare withholding. Your employee must report cash tips to you by the 10th of the month after the month that the tips are received. The report should include tips you paid over to the employee for charge customers, tips the employee received directly from customers, and tips received from other employees under any tip-sharing arrangement. Both directly and indirectly tipped employees must report tips to you. The report shouldn't include tips that the employee paid out to other employees. No report is required for months when tips are less than $20. Your employees report tips on Form 4070 or on a similar statement. They may also use Form 4070A to keep a record of their tips. Both forms are included in Pub. 1244 available at IRS.gov.
The statement must be signed by the employee and must include:
The employee's name, address, and SSN,
Your name and address,
The month or period that the report covers, and
The total tips received during the month or period.
You’re permitted to establish a system for electronic tip reporting by employees. See Regulations section 31.6053-1(d).
The withholding rules for withholding an employee's share of Medicare tax on tips also apply to withholding the Additional Medicare Tax once wages and tips exceed $200,000 in the calendar year.
The tests described next apply only to services that are defined as agricultural labor (farmwork). 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 animal, 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 which change a commodity from its raw or natural state, or services performed after a commodity has been changed from its raw or natural state.
A "share farmer" working for you isn't your employee. However, the share farmer may be subject to self-employment tax. In general, share farming is an arrangement in which certain commodity products are shared between the farmer and the owner (or tenant) of the land. For details, see Regulations section 31.3121(b)(16)-1.
All cash wages that you pay to any employee for farmwork are subject to social security and Medicare taxes if either of the following two tests is met.
You pay cash wages to the employee of $150 or more in a year (count all cash wages paid on a time, piecework, or other basis) for farmwork. 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 of your employees is $2,500 or more during the year.
The tax rate for social security is 6.2% (amount withheld) each for the employer and employee (12.4% total). The social security wage base limit is $128,400. The tax rate for Medicare is 1.45% (amount withheld) each for the employee and employer (2.9% total). There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax; all covered wages are subject to Medicare tax. Multiply each wage payment by these percentages to figure the tax to withhold from employees. Employers report both the employee and employer shares on Forms 941-SS, 944, or Form 943 (farm employment). See section 5 for information on tips.
You must deposit social security and Medicare taxes if your tax liability (Form 941-SS, line 12; Form 944, line 9; or Form 943, line 13) is $2,500 or more for the tax return period. You must make the deposit by EFT. For more information about EFT, see How To Deposit , later in this section.
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. See Accuracy of Deposits Rule and How To Deposit, later in this section.
Under the rules discussed below, the only difference between farm and nonfarm workers' employment tax deposit rules is the lookback period. Therefore, farm and nonfarm workers are discussed together except where noted.
Depending on your total taxes reported during a lookback period (discussed below), you’re 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 you pay your employees or how often you’re required to make deposits. The terms identify which set of rules that you must follow when a tax liability arises (for example, when you have a payday).
You’ll need to determine your deposit schedule for a calendar year based on the total employment taxes reported on Forms 941-SS, line 10 (line 12 for quarters beginning after December 31, 2016); Form 944, line 7; or Form 943, line 11, for your lookback period (defined below). If you filed both Forms 941-SS and 941 during the lookback period, combine the tax liabilities for these returns for purposes of determining your deposit schedule. Determine your deposit schedule for Form 943 separately from Forms 941-SS and 941.
The term "deposit period" refers to the period during which tax liabilities are accumulated for each required deposit due date. For monthly schedule depositors, the deposit period is a calendar month. The deposit periods for semiweekly schedule depositors are Wednesday through Friday and Saturday through Tuesday.
If your total tax reported for the lookback period is $50,000 or less, you’re a monthly schedule depositor for the current year. You must deposit taxes on wage payments made during a calendar month by the 15th day of the following month.
If your total tax reported for the lookback period is more than $50,000, you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor for the current year. If you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor, you must deposit on Wednesday and/or Friday, depending on what day of the week that you make wage payments, as follows.
Deposit taxes on wage payments made on Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday by the following Wednesday.
Deposit taxes on wage payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday by the following Friday.
Semiweekly depositors are generally not 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 on the following Wednesday. If you made no additional payments on Saturday through Tuesday, no deposit is due on Friday.
Semiweekly schedule depositors must complete Schedule B (Form 941), Report of Tax Liability for Semiweekly Schedule Depositors, and submit it with Form 941-SS. If you file Form 944 and are a semiweekly schedule depositor, complete Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability, and submit it with your return (instead of Schedule B). If you file Form 943 and are a semiweekly schedule depositor, complete Form 943-A, Agricultural Employer's Record of Federal Tax Liability, and submit it with your return (instead of Schedule B).
If a deposit due date falls 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, but Friday is a legal holiday, the deposit is considered timely if it is made by the following Monday (if Monday is a business day).
Semiweekly schedule depositors have at least 3 business days following the close of the semiweekly period to make a deposit. If any of the 3 weekdays after the end of a semiweekly period is a legal holiday, you’ll have an additional day for each day that is a legal holiday to make the required deposit. For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor accumulated taxes for payments made on Friday and the following Monday is a legal holiday, the deposit normally due on Wednesday may be made on Thursday (this allows 3 business days to make the deposit).
The following examples illustrate the procedure for determining the deposit date under the two different deposit schedules.
If you accumulate taxes of $100,000 or more on any day during a deposit period, you must deposit 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 taxes after the end of a deposit period. For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor has accumulated taxes of $95,000 on Tuesday and $10,000 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 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 during a month, you become a semiweekly schedule depositor on the next day and remain so for the remainder 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, and
The deposit shortfall is paid or deposited by the shortfall makeup date as described next.
Makeup date for deposit shortfall:
Monthly schedule depositor. Deposit or pay the shortfall by the due date of your Form 941-SS, 944, or 943 for the period in which the shortfall occurred. You may pay the shortfall with your return even if the amount is $2,500 or more.
Semiweekly schedule depositor. Deposit by the earlier of:
The first Wednesday or Friday (whichever comes first) that comes on or after the 15th of the month following the month in which the shortfall occurred, or
The return due date for the period in which the shortfall occurred.
For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor has a deposit shortfall during June 2018, the shortfall makeup date is July 18, 2018 (Wednesday). However, if the shortfall occurred on the required April 4, 2018 (Wednesday), deposit due date for a March 30, 2018 (Friday), pay date, the return due date for the March 30, 2018, pay date (April 30, 2018) would come before the May 16, 2018 (Wednesday), shortfall makeup date. In this case, the shortfall must be deposited by April 30, 2018.
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-SS or 944 taxes). Form 943 taxes and Form 941-SS (or Form 944) taxes aren't combined for purposes of applying any of the deposit rules.
If a deposit is due, deposit the Form 941-SS (or Form 944) taxes and Form 943 taxes separately, as discussed 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.
Penalties may apply if you don't make required deposits on time or if you make deposits of 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 also 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.
For amounts not properly or timely deposited, the penalty rates are as follows.
|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 that 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 (but 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 filed Form 944 for 2017 and line 9 was $2,500 or more, you were required to complete Form 944, lines 13a–13m, or attach Form 945-A. If you failed to complete lines 13a–13m, or failed to attach Form 945-A, whichever was required, IRS may assess an "averaged" FTD penalty.
Make current period adjustments for fractions of cents, sick pay, tips, and group-term life insurance on your Form 941-SS, 944, or 943. See the Instructions for Form 941-SS, Instructions for Form 944, or Instructions for Form 943 for information on how to report these adjustments.
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/ar14.html.
By January 31, furnish Copies B and C of Form W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI to each employee. If an employee stops working for you during the year, furnish the statement at any time after employment ends but no later than January 31 of the next year. However, if the employee asks you for Form W-2, furnish it within 30 days of the request or the last wage payment, whichever is later.
If you go out of business during the year, give your employees their Forms W-2 by the due date of your final Form 941-SS. File Copy A with the SSA by the last day of the month after that due date.
If an employee loses or destroys his or her copies, furnish that employee copies of Form W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI marked "REISSUED STATEMENT." Don't send Copy A of the reissued form to the SSA.
Employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands should contact their local tax department for instructions on completing Form W-2CM. You can get Form W-2CM and its instructions by going to cnmidof.net/rev/forms.asp, or by calling 670-664-1000.
The Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 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. Only the employer pays FUTA tax; it isn't withheld from your employees' wages. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 940.
You must file Form 940 if you’re subject to federal unemployment (FUTA) tax under the following rules.
13. Federal Agency Certifying Requirements of Federal Income Taxes Withheld From U.S. Government Employees and Federal Pension Recipients
This section sets forth the legal authorities requiring federal agencies to certify to the IRS the amount of federal income taxes withheld from amounts paid to U.S. Government employees working in, as well as federal civilian and military pensioners residing in, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Guam. As noted below, these special certifying requirements don't apply to federal agencies who have employees working in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Code sections 931(a), 931 (d), and 7654 provide that the U.S. Government is required to transfer ("cover over") to the Treasury of American Samoa the federal income taxes withheld on amounts paid to military and civilian employees and pensioners who are residents of American Samoa. The effect of these provisions is that the Federal Government transfers on at least an annual basis the federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees and pensioners who are residents of American Samoa to the American Samoa Treasury. In order for the Federal Government to cover over these income taxes as required by law, federal agencies must certify the amount of federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees and pensioners by following the procedures discussed under Certification Procedures , later in this section.
Code section 7654 and 48 U.S.C. section 1681, [Public Law 94 241, section 703 (b)] provide that the U.S. Government is required to cover over to the Treasury of the CNMI the federal income taxes withheld on amounts paid to military and civilian employees and pensioners who are residents of the CNMI. The effect of these provisions is that the Federal Government transfers on at least an annual basis the federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees and pensioners who are residents of the CNMI to the CNMI Treasury. In order for the Federal Government to cover over these federal income taxes as required by law, federal agencies must certify the amount of federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees and pensioners by following the procedures discussed under Certification Procedures , later in this section. As discussed in the Caution next, federal agencies aren't required to certify the amount of local CNMI taxes that are withheld or collected.
The U.S. Treasury Department and the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation entered into an agreement under 5 U.S.C section 5517 in December 2006. Under this agreement, all federal employers (including the Department of Defense) are required to withhold CNMI income taxes (rather than federal income taxes) and deposit the CNMI taxes with the CNMI Treasury for employees whose regular place of federal employment is in the CNMI. Federal employers are also required to file quarterly and annual reports with the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation. The 5517 agreement isn't applicable to payments made to pensioners and compensation paid to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are stationed in the CNMI but have a state of legal residence outside the CNMI. For more information, including details on completing Form W-2, go to IRS.gov/5517Agreements.
Code section 7654 and 48 U.S.C. section 1421(h) provide that the U.S. Government is required to cover over to the Treasury of Guam the federal income taxes withheld on amounts paid to military and civilian employees and pensioners who are residents of Guam. The effect of these provisions is that the Federal Government transfers on at least an annual basis the federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees and pensioners who are residents of Guam to the Guam Treasury. In order for the Federal Government to cover over these federal income taxes as required by law, federal agencies must certify the amount of federal income taxes withheld or collected from its employees, by following the procedures discussed under Certification Procedures , later in this section.
These special certifying requirements don't apply to federal agencies who have employees working in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Treasury Department and Puerto Rico entered into an agreement under 5 U.S.C. section 5517 in November 1988. Under this agreement, all federal employers (including the Department of Defense) are required to withhold Puerto Rico income taxes (rather than federal income taxes) and deposit the Puerto Rico taxes with the Puerto Rico Treasury for employees whose regular place of federal employment is in Puerto Rico. Federal employers are also required to file quarterly and annual reports with the Puerto Rico tax department. The 5517 agreement isn't applicable to payments made to pensioners and compensation paid to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are stationed in Puerto Rico but have a state of legal residence outside Puerto Rico. For more information, including details on completing Form W-2, go to IRS/gov/5517agreements.
This section describes what “federal income taxes” are subject to these certification procedures.
For purposes of these cover over certification requirements, the term “federal income taxes” includes federal income taxes that have been withheld from compensation and other amounts paid to and deposited into the U.S. Treasury on any of the following:
This section contains the procedures federal agencies must follow to certify to the IRS the amount of "federal income taxes" paid to and deposited into the U.S. Treasury. All departments and agencies of the Federal Government (as well as service and social organizations associated with a military or civilian federal entity) that withhold federal income taxes on amounts paid to employees and pensioners of the United States (or any agency thereof) as provided herein, must certify to the IRS each calendar quarter the total amount of federal income taxes withheld that have been deposited into the U.S. Treasury. Federal agencies must submit a separate certification for Federal income taxes creditable to American Samoa, the CNMI, and Guam, as applicable.
Except as provided below, these certifications should be in the form of a letter and should include each of the following:
A citation to IRS Pub. 80 as the authority for the certification;
Name of the federal certifying agency or department;
The certifying agency’s EIN;
The calendar quarter and fiscal year covered by the certification;
The total number of individuals covered by the certification; and
The aggregate dollar amount of federal income taxes withheld on all individuals covered by the certification.
A Federal Government department or agency that submits a certification on behalf of another department or agency must include the name and EIN of each subordinate or designated federal department or agency included, along with the required data for each subordinate or designated department or agency. In this instance, the certifying agency must send the certification at least on an annual basis, no later than February 14.
In addition, Federal Government agencies certifying for compensation paid to military personnel not stationed in American Samoa, the CNMI, or Guam but who have a state of legal residence in one of these territories must provide each servicemember’s name, social security number, amount of annual salary paid, and total amount of annual federal income tax withheld.
The amounts shown in the certification must agree with the amounts of federal income tax withheld and reported on the quarterly federal tax return(s) of the agency (Form 941).
Federal agencies must submit these certifications on a quarterly basis no later than 45 days after the close of each calendar quarter as follows:
|First quarter (ending March 31)||May 15|
|Second quarter (ending June 30)||Aug. 14|
|Third quarter (ending September 30)||Nov. 14|
|Fourth quarter (ending December 31)||Feb. 14|
Federal agencies should mail this certification to the following address:Internal Revenue Service
Revenue Systems and Analysis
Attn: OS:CFO:FM:RA:S (77K St)
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
CFO/FM - Mail Stop 6167
Washington, DC 20224
Fax: (202) 803-9691
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.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
We can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And our service is free. If you qualify for our 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.
We have 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 us at 877-777-4778.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes 10 basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov can help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.
TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at IRS.gov/SAMS.
- Calendar, Calendar
- Common-law employee, Employee status under common law.
- Corrected wage and tax statement, Correcting Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, and Form W-3SS.
- Crew leaders, Farm Crew Leaders
- Current period adjustments, Current Period Adjustments
- Deposit Taxes
- Family employees, Deposits.
- Farm crew leaders, Farm Crew Leaders
- Farmworkers, Employers of farmworkers.
- Federal agency certifying requirements, 13. Federal Agency Certifying Requirements of Federal Income Taxes Withheld From U.S. Government Employees and Federal Pension Recipients
- Federal employees, Deposits.
- Fishing, Deposits.
- Form, Lookback period for employers of nonfarm workers.
- 8274, Deposits.
- 941-SS, Current Period Adjustments
- 941-X, Adjustments to lookback period taxes.
- 943-X, Adjustments to lookback period taxes.
- 944-X, Adjustments to lookback period taxes.
- Schedule H (Form 1040), Household employers reporting social security and Medicare taxes.
- SS-4, 1. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- SS-5, Reminders
- SS-8, IRS help.
- W-2c, Correcting Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, and Form W-3SS.
- Fringe benefits, Fringe Benefits, Deposits.
- When fringe benefits are treated as paid, When fringe benefits are treated as paid.
- Fringe Benefits
- Depositing taxes on fringe benefits, Depositing taxes on fringe benefits.
- Social security and Medicare taxes withholding on fringe benefits, Withholding social security and Medicare taxes on fringe benefits.
- Special accounting rule for fringe benefits provided during November and December, Special accounting rule for fringe benefits provided during November and December.
- Valuation of vehicles provided to employees, Valuation of vehicles provided to employees.
- FUTA tax, 11. Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax—U.S. Virgin Islands Employers Only
- Hiring new employees, Reminders
- Homeworkers, Deposits.
- Hospital employees
- Household employers, Household employers reporting social security and Medicare taxes.
- Household workers, Household employers reporting social security and Medicare taxes., Deposits.
- How to deposit, How To Deposit
- How To Figure Social Security and Medicare Taxes, 7. How To Figure Social Security and Medicare Taxes
- Lookback period
- Farmworkers, Lookback period for employers of farmworkers.
- Salespersons, Deposits.
- Scholarships and fellowships, Deposits.
- Semiweekly deposit schedule, Semiweekly Deposit Schedule
- Severance pay, Deposits.
- Sick pay, Deposits.
- Social Security and Medicare Taxes for Farmworkers
- Exceptions to the $150 and $2,500 tests, Exceptions.
- Farmworkers, 6. Social Security and Medicare Taxes for Farmworkers
- The $150 Test or the $2,500 Test, The $150 Test or the $2,500 Test
- Social security card, applying for a, Applying for a social security card.
- Social security number
- Social security number (SSN), 3. Employee's Social Security Number (SSN), Applying for a social security card.
- Applying for an SSN, Applying for an SSN.
- Employee's name and SSN, correctly record the, Correctly record the employee's name and SSN.
- Social security card,
- employee's, Employee's social security card.
- Social security number, where to get and file application forms, Where to get and file SSN application forms.
- Statutory employee, Statutory employees.
- Statutory nonemployee, Statutory nonemployees.
- Students, Deposits.
- Supplemental unemployment compensation benefits, Deposits.
- Wage and Tax Statement, 10. Wage and Tax Statements
- Wages and Other Compensation, 4. Wages and Other Compensation
- What's New, What's New
- When To Deposit
- Lookback period nonfarm workers, Lookback period for employers of nonfarm workers.