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Publication 926 - Introductory Material


Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 926, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/pub926.

What's New

Social security and Medicare tax for 2017. The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. The social security wage base limit is $127,200.The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household employees you pay $2,000 or more in cash in 2017. For more information, see Cash wages, later.

Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit. For 2017, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $255 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $255.

New 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 tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding, and other requirements described in sections 3511 and 7705 and related published guidance. The IRS began accepting applications for PEO certification in July 2016. Certification as a CPEO affects the employment tax liabilities of both the CPEO and its customers. A CPEO is generally treated as the employer of any individual performing services for a customer of the CPEO and 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, visit IRS.gov and enter “CPEO” in the search box.

Reminders

Filing due date for 2017 Forms W-2 and W-3. Both paper and electronically filed 2017 Forms W-2 and W-3 must be filed with the SSA by January 31, 2018.

Credit reduction states. A state that hasn't repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits is a “credit reduction state.” The Department of Labor (DOL) determines these states. If you paid any wages that are subject to the unemployment compensation laws in any credit reduction state, your federal unemployment (FUTA) tax credit is reduced. See the Instructions for Schedule H (Form 1040) for more information.

Medicaid waiver payments. Notice 2014-7 provides that certain Medicaid waiver payments are excludable from income for federal income tax purposes. See Notice 2014-7, 2014-4, I.R.B. 445, available at IRS.gov/irb/2014-4_IRB/ar06.html. For more information, including questions and answers related to Notice 2014-7, visit IRS.gov and enter “Medicaid waiver payments” in the search box.

Outsourcing payroll duties. Unless the wages and other compensation paid to the individual performing services for you are paid by a CPEO and are covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between you and a CPEO (CPEO contract), 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, visit IRS.gov and enter “outsourcing payroll duties” in the search box for helpful information on this topic.

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.

Introduction

The information in this publication applies to you only if you have a household employee. If you have a household employee in 2017, you may need to pay state and federal employment taxes for 2017. You generally must add your federal employment taxes to the income tax that you will report on your 2017 federal income tax return.

This publication will help you decide whether you have a household employee and, if you do, whether you need to pay federal employment taxes (social security tax, Medicare tax, FUTA, and federal income tax withholding). It explains how to figure, pay, and report these taxes for your household employee. It also explains what records you need to keep.

This publication also tells you where to find out whether you need to pay state unemployment tax for your household employee.

Comments and suggestions.    We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can send us comments from IRS.gov/formcomment.

  Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service 
Tax Forms and Publications  
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  Although we can't respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax forms, instructions, and publications. We can't answer tax questions sent to the above address.

Ordering forms and publications.    Visit IRS.gov/forms to download forms and publications. Otherwise, you can go to IRS.gov/orderforms to order current and prior-year forms and instructions. Your order should arrive within 10 business days.

Tax questions.    If you have an employment tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-4933 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability at 1-800-829-4059) Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).


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