Instructions for IRS Form 941 "Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return"

This document contains official instructions for IRS Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return - a tax form released and collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a subdivision of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. An up-to-date fillable IRS Form 941 Schedule B is available for download through this link.

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Instructions for Form 941
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
(Rev. March 2021)
Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless
COVID-19, may be filed to request an advance payment for
otherwise noted.
the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages through
April 30, 2021. Form 7200 may be filed to request an
Future Developments
advance payment for the employee retention credit through
August 2, 2021. Form(s) 7200 can’t be filed for quarters
For the latest information about developments related to
beginning after March 31, 2021, unless the credit for qualified
Form 941 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted
sick and family leave wages is extended to leave taken after
after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form941.
March 31, 2021; or for quarters beginning after June 30,
At the time these instructions went to print, Congress was
2021, unless the employee retention credit is extended to
considering changes to coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief. If
wages paid after June 30, 2021. For more information,
new legislation impacts these instructions, updates will be
including information on which employers are eligible to
posted to IRS.gov/Form941. You may also go to
IRS.gov/
request an advance payment and the amount that can be
Coronavirus
for the latest information about COVID-19 tax
advanced, see the Instructions for Form 7200. To see if
relief.
future legislation extends these credits, see IRS.gov/PLC,
IRS.gov/ERC, IRS.gov/Form941, and IRS.gov/Form7200.
What's New
Deferral of the employer share of social security tax ex-
Social security and Medicare tax for 2021. The rate of
pired. The CARES Act allowed employers to defer the
social security tax on taxable wages, except for qualified sick
deposit and payment of the employer share of social security
leave wages and qualified family leave wages, is 6.2% each
tax. The deferred amount of the employer share of social
for the employer and employee or 12.4% for both. Qualified
security tax was only available for deposits due on or after
sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages aren't
March 27, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, as well as
subject to the employer share of social security tax;
deposits and payments due after January 1, 2021, that are
therefore, the tax rate on these wages is 6.2%. The social
required for wages paid on or after March 27, 2020, and
security wage base limit is $142,800.
before January 1, 2021. Therefore, the line previously used
for the employer deferral has been “Reserved for future use.”
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee
One-half of the employer share of social security tax is due
and employer, unchanged from 2020. There is no wage base
by December 31, 2021, and the remainder is due by
limit for Medicare tax.
December 31, 2022. Because both December 31, 2021, and
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of
December 31, 2022, are nonbusiness days, payments made
household workers you pay $2,300 or more in cash wages in
on the next business day will be considered timely. Any
2021. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election
payments or deposits you make before December 31, 2021,
workers who are paid $2,000 or more in cash or an
are first applied against your payment due on December 31,
equivalent form of compensation in 2021.
2021, and then applied against your payment due on
The COVID-19 related employee retention credit and the
December 31, 2022. For more information about the deferral
credit for qualified sick and family leave wages have
of employment tax deposits, go to IRS.gov/ETD. See
Paying
been extended. The Families First Coronavirus Response
the deferred amount of the employer share of social security
Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
tax
and
How to pay the deferred amount of the employer and
Security (CARES) Act were both amended by recent
employee share of social security
tax, later, for information
legislation. The FFCRA requirement that employers provide
about paying the deferred amount of the employer share of
paid sick and family leave for reasons related to COVID-19
social security tax.
(the employer mandate) expired on December 31, 2020;
Deferral of the employee share of social security tax ex-
however, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 extends
pired. The Presidential Memorandum on Deferring Payroll
the periods for which employers providing leave that
Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster,
otherwise meets the requirements of the FFCRA may
issued on August 8, 2020, directed the Secretary of the
continue to claim tax credits for wages paid for leave taken
Treasury to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of
before April 1, 2021. For more information about the credit for
the employee share of social security tax on wages paid
qualified sick and family leave wages, and to see if future
during the period from September 1, 2020, through
legislation extends the dates through which the credit may be
December 31, 2020. The deferral of the withholding and
claimed, go to IRS.gov/PLC.
payment of the employee share of social security tax was
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of
available for employees whose social security wages paid for
2020 modifies the calculation of the employee retention
a biweekly pay period were less than $4,000, or the
credit and extends the date through which the credit may be
equivalent threshold amount for other pay periods. The line
claimed to qualified wages paid through June 30, 2021. For
previously used for the employee deferral has been
more information about the employee retention credit, and to
“Reserved for future use.” The COVID-related Tax Relief Act
see if future legislation extends the dates through which the
of 2020 defers the due date for the withholding and payment
credit may be claimed, go to IRS.gov/ERC.
of the employee share of social security tax until the period
beginning on January 1, 2021, and ending on December 31,
Advance payment of COVID-19 credits extended. Form
2021. For more information about the deferral of employee
7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to
Mar 09, 2021
Cat. No. 14625L
Instructions for Form 941
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
(Rev. March 2021)
Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless
COVID-19, may be filed to request an advance payment for
otherwise noted.
the credit for qualified sick and family leave wages through
April 30, 2021. Form 7200 may be filed to request an
Future Developments
advance payment for the employee retention credit through
August 2, 2021. Form(s) 7200 can’t be filed for quarters
For the latest information about developments related to
beginning after March 31, 2021, unless the credit for qualified
Form 941 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted
sick and family leave wages is extended to leave taken after
after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form941.
March 31, 2021; or for quarters beginning after June 30,
At the time these instructions went to print, Congress was
2021, unless the employee retention credit is extended to
considering changes to coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief. If
wages paid after June 30, 2021. For more information,
new legislation impacts these instructions, updates will be
including information on which employers are eligible to
posted to IRS.gov/Form941. You may also go to
IRS.gov/
request an advance payment and the amount that can be
Coronavirus
for the latest information about COVID-19 tax
advanced, see the Instructions for Form 7200. To see if
relief.
future legislation extends these credits, see IRS.gov/PLC,
IRS.gov/ERC, IRS.gov/Form941, and IRS.gov/Form7200.
What's New
Deferral of the employer share of social security tax ex-
Social security and Medicare tax for 2021. The rate of
pired. The CARES Act allowed employers to defer the
social security tax on taxable wages, except for qualified sick
deposit and payment of the employer share of social security
leave wages and qualified family leave wages, is 6.2% each
tax. The deferred amount of the employer share of social
for the employer and employee or 12.4% for both. Qualified
security tax was only available for deposits due on or after
sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages aren't
March 27, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, as well as
subject to the employer share of social security tax;
deposits and payments due after January 1, 2021, that are
therefore, the tax rate on these wages is 6.2%. The social
required for wages paid on or after March 27, 2020, and
security wage base limit is $142,800.
before January 1, 2021. Therefore, the line previously used
for the employer deferral has been “Reserved for future use.”
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee
One-half of the employer share of social security tax is due
and employer, unchanged from 2020. There is no wage base
by December 31, 2021, and the remainder is due by
limit for Medicare tax.
December 31, 2022. Because both December 31, 2021, and
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of
December 31, 2022, are nonbusiness days, payments made
household workers you pay $2,300 or more in cash wages in
on the next business day will be considered timely. Any
2021. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election
payments or deposits you make before December 31, 2021,
workers who are paid $2,000 or more in cash or an
are first applied against your payment due on December 31,
equivalent form of compensation in 2021.
2021, and then applied against your payment due on
The COVID-19 related employee retention credit and the
December 31, 2022. For more information about the deferral
credit for qualified sick and family leave wages have
of employment tax deposits, go to IRS.gov/ETD. See
Paying
been extended. The Families First Coronavirus Response
the deferred amount of the employer share of social security
Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
tax
and
How to pay the deferred amount of the employer and
Security (CARES) Act were both amended by recent
employee share of social security
tax, later, for information
legislation. The FFCRA requirement that employers provide
about paying the deferred amount of the employer share of
paid sick and family leave for reasons related to COVID-19
social security tax.
(the employer mandate) expired on December 31, 2020;
Deferral of the employee share of social security tax ex-
however, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 extends
pired. The Presidential Memorandum on Deferring Payroll
the periods for which employers providing leave that
Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster,
otherwise meets the requirements of the FFCRA may
issued on August 8, 2020, directed the Secretary of the
continue to claim tax credits for wages paid for leave taken
Treasury to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of
before April 1, 2021. For more information about the credit for
the employee share of social security tax on wages paid
qualified sick and family leave wages, and to see if future
during the period from September 1, 2020, through
legislation extends the dates through which the credit may be
December 31, 2020. The deferral of the withholding and
claimed, go to IRS.gov/PLC.
payment of the employee share of social security tax was
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of
available for employees whose social security wages paid for
2020 modifies the calculation of the employee retention
a biweekly pay period were less than $4,000, or the
credit and extends the date through which the credit may be
equivalent threshold amount for other pay periods. The line
claimed to qualified wages paid through June 30, 2021. For
previously used for the employee deferral has been
more information about the employee retention credit, and to
“Reserved for future use.” The COVID-related Tax Relief Act
see if future legislation extends the dates through which the
of 2020 defers the due date for the withholding and payment
credit may be claimed, go to IRS.gov/ERC.
of the employee share of social security tax until the period
beginning on January 1, 2021, and ending on December 31,
Advance payment of COVID-19 credits extended. Form
2021. For more information about the deferral of employee
7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to
Mar 09, 2021
Cat. No. 14625L
social security tax, see Notice 2020-65, 2020-38 I.R.B. 567,
Paying the deferred amount of the employee share of
available at IRS.gov/irb/2020-38_IRB#NOT-2020-65, and
social security tax. The due date for the withholding and
Notice 2021-11, 2021-06 I.R.B. 827, available at
IRS.gov/irb/
payment of the employee share of social security tax is
2021-06_IRB#NOT-2021-11. Also see
Paying the deferred
postponed until the period beginning on January 1, 2021,
amount of the employee share of social security tax
and
How
and ending on December 31, 2021. The employer must
to pay the deferred amount of the employer and employee
withhold and pay the total deferred employee share of social
share of social security
tax, later, for information about paying
security tax ratably from wages paid to the employee
the deferred amount of the employee share of social security
between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. If
tax. For information about how to report the deferred amount
necessary, the employer may make arrangements to
of the employee share of social security tax on Form W-2 and
otherwise collect the total deferred taxes from the employee.
Form W-2c for 2020, see
IRS.gov/FormW2
and the 2021
The employer is liable to pay the deferred taxes to the IRS
General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3.
and must do so before January 1, 2022, to avoid interest,
penalties, and additions to tax on those amounts. Because
New payroll tax credit for certain tax-exempt organiza-
January 1, 2022, is a nonbusiness day, payments made on
tions affected by qualified disasters. Section 303(d) of
January 3, 2022, will be considered timely. For more
the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020
information about the deferral of the employee share of social
allows for a new payroll tax credit for certain tax-exempt
security tax, see
Notice 2020-65
and
Notice
2021-11.
organizations affected by certain qualified disasters not
related to COVID-19. This credit may still be available to
How to pay the deferred amount of the employer and
certain tax-exempt organizations during the first and second
employee share of social security tax. You may pay the
quarters of 2021. This new credit will be claimed on new
amount you owe electronically using the Electronic Federal
Form 5884-D (not on Form 941). Form 5884-D is filed after
Tax Payment System (EFTPS), by credit or debit card, or by
the Form 941 for the quarter for which the credit is being
a check or money order. The preferred method of payment is
claimed has been filed. If you will claim this credit on Form
EFTPS. For more information, go to EFTPS.gov, or call 800-
5884-D for a calendar quarter of 2021 and you're also
555-4477 or 800-733-4829 (TDD). To pay the deferred
claiming a credit for qualified sick and family leave wages
amount using EFTPS, select Form 941, the calendar quarter
and/or the employee retention credit in that quarter, you must
in 2020 to which the payment relates, and the option for
include any credit that will be claimed on Form 5884-D on
payment due on an IRS notice. The IRS expects EFTPS to
Worksheet 1
for the Form 941 for that quarter. For more
be updated on or around March 19, 2021, to provide a
information about this credit, go to IRS.gov/Form5884D.
specific option to pay the deferred amount in lieu of selecting
the option of making a payment due on an IRS notice.
Don't use an earlier revision of Form 941 to report
taxes for 2021. Don't use the March 2021 revision of
To pay by credit or debit card, go to IRS.gov/PayByCard.
!
Form 941 to report taxes for any quarter ending
If you pay by check or money order, include a 2020 Form
CAUTION
before January 1, 2021. Prior revisions of Form 941 are
941-V, Payment Voucher, for the quarter in which you
available at
IRS.gov/Form941
(select the link for “All Form
originally deferred the deposit and payment. Darken the
941 Revisions” under “Other Items You May Find Useful”).
circle identifying the quarter for which the payment is being
made. The 2020 Form 941-V is on page 5 of Form 941 and is
Reminders
available at
IRS.gov/Form941
(select the link for “All Form
941 Revisions” under “Other Items You May Find Useful”).
Paying the deferred amount of the employer share of
Make the check or money order payable to “United States
social security tax. One-half of the employer share of
Treasury.” Enter your EIN, “Form 941,” and the calendar
social security tax is due by December 31, 2021, and the
quarter in which you originally deferred the deposit and
remainder is due by December 31, 2022. Because both
payment (for example, “2nd Quarter 2020”).
December 31, 2021, and December 31, 2022, are
Payments should be sent to:
nonbusiness days, payments made on the next business day
will be considered timely. Any payments or deposits you
Department of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
make before December 31, 2021, are first applied against
Internal Revenue Service
or
Internal Revenue Service
your payment due on December 31, 2021, and then applied
Ogden, UT 84201-0030
Kansas City, MO
against your payment due on December 31, 2022. For
64999-0030
example, if your employer share of social security tax for the
third quarter of 2020 was $20,000 and you deposited $5,000
of the $20,000 during the third quarter of 2020 and you
Send your payment to the address above that is in the
deferred $15,000 on Form 941, line 13b, then you must pay
same state as the address to which you would mail returns
$5,000 by December 31, 2021, and $10,000 by December
filed without a payment, as shown under
Where Should You
31, 2022. However, if your employer share of social security
File, later. For more information about the deferral of social
tax for the third quarter of 2020 was $20,000 and you
security tax, go to
IRS.gov/ETD
and see
Notice 2020-65
and
deposited $15,000 of the $20,000 during the third quarter of
Notice
2021-11.
2020 and you deferred $5,000 on Form 941, line 13b, then
you don’t need to pay any deferred amount by December 31,
2021 withholding tables. The federal income tax
2021, because 50% of the amount that could have been
withholding tables are included in Pub. 15-T, Federal Income
deferred ($10,000) has already been paid and is first applied
Tax Withholding Methods.
against your payment that would be due on December 31,
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increas-
2021. Accordingly, you must pay the $5,000 deferral by
ing research activities. For tax years beginning after 2015,
December 31, 2022. For additional information, go to
a qualified small business may elect to claim up to $250,000
IRS.gov/ETD.
of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax
credit against the employer share of social security tax. The
-2-
Instructions for Form 941 (Rev. 3-2021)
payroll tax credit election must be made on or before the due
compensation paid to the individual by the CPEO. However,
date of the originally filed income tax return (including
with respect to certain employees covered by a CPEO
extensions). The portion of the credit used against the
contract, you may also be treated as an employer of the
employer share of social security tax is allowed in the first
employees and, consequently, may also be liable for federal
calendar quarter beginning after the date that the qualified
employment taxes imposed on wages and other
small business filed its income tax return. The election and
compensation paid by the CPEO to such employees. For
determination of the credit amount that will be used against
more information on the different types of third-party payer
the employer share of social security tax are made on Form
arrangements, see section 16 of Pub. 15.
6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities. The amount
Aggregate Form 941 filers. Approved section 3504 agents
from Form 6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form
and CPEOs must complete and file Schedule R (Form 941)
8974, Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for
when filing an aggregate Form 941. Aggregate Forms 941
Increasing Research Activities. Form 8974 is used to
are filed by agents approved by the IRS under section 3504.
determine the amount of the credit that can be used in the
To request approval to act as an agent for an employer, the
current quarter. The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is
agent files Form 2678 with the IRS unless you're a state or
reported on Form 941, line 11a. If you’re claiming the
local government agency acting as an agent under the
research payroll tax credit on your Form 941, you must attach
special procedures provided in Rev. Proc. 2013-39, 2013-52
Form 8974 to that Form 941. For more information about the
I.R.B. 830, available at
IRS.gov/irb/
payroll tax credit, see Notice 2017-23, 2017-16 I.R.B. 1100,
2013-52_IRB#RP-2013-39. Aggregate Forms 941 are also
available at IRS.gov/irb/2017-16_IRB#NOT-2017-23, and
filed by CPEOs approved by the IRS under section 7705. To
IRS.gov/ResearchPayrollTC. Also see
Adjusting tax liability
become a CPEO, the organization must apply through the
for nonrefundable credits claimed on lines 11a, 11b, and
11c,
IRS Online Registration System at IRS.gov/CPEO. CPEOs
later.
file Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer
Certification program for professional employer organi-
Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement, to notify the
zations (PEOs). The Stephen Beck, Jr., ABLE Act of 2014
IRS that they started or ended a service contract with a
required the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program
customer. CPEOs must generally file Form 941 and
for PEOs. PEOs handle various payroll administration and
Schedule R (Form 941) electronically. For more information
tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are
about a CPEO’s requirement to file electronically, see Rev.
typically paid a fee based on payroll costs. To become and
Proc. 2017-14, 2017-3 I.R.B. 426, available at
IRS.gov/irb/
remain certified under the certification program, certified
2017-03_IRB#RP-2017-14. The June 2020 revision of
professional employer organizations (CPEOs) must meet
Schedule R won't be revised for 2021. If a line on Form 941 is
various requirements described in sections 3511 and 7705
“Reserved for future use,” don't enter any amounts in the
and related published guidance. Certification as a CPEO
corresponding columns on Schedule R.
may affect the employment tax liabilities of both the CPEO
Other third-party payers that file aggregate Forms 941,
and its customers. A CPEO is generally treated for
such as non-certified PEOs, must complete and file
employment tax purposes as the employer of any individual
Schedule R (Form 941) if they have clients that are claiming
who performs services for a customer of the CPEO and is
the qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing
covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2)
research activities, the credit for qualified sick and family
between the CPEO and the customer (CPEO contract), but
leave wages, or the employee retention credit.
only for wages and other compensation paid to the individual
If both an employer and a section 3504 authorized
by the CPEO. To become a CPEO, the organization must
agent (or CPEO or other third-party payer) paid
apply through the IRS Online Registration System. For more
TIP
wages to an employee during a quarter, both the
information or to apply to become a CPEO, go to
IRS.gov/
employer and the section 3504 authorized agent (or CPEO or
CPEO.
other third-party payer, if applicable) should file Form 941
CPEOs must generally file Form 941 and Schedule R
reporting the wages each entity paid to the employee during
(Form 941), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941
the applicable quarter and issue Forms W-2 reporting the
Filers, electronically. For more information about a CPEO’s
wages each entity paid to the employee during the year.
requirement to file electronically, see Rev. Proc. 2017-14,
2017-3 I.R.B. 426, available at
IRS.gov/irb/
If a third-party payer of sick pay is also paying qualified
2017-03_IRB#RP-2017-14.
sick leave wages on behalf of an employer, the third party
would be making the payments as an agent of the employer.
Outsourcing payroll duties. Generally, as an employer,
The employer is required to do the reporting and payment of
you're responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and
employment taxes with respect to the qualified sick leave
deposits and payments are made, even if you contract with a
wages and claim the credit for the qualified sick leave wages,
third party to perform these acts. You remain responsible if
unless the employer has an agency agreement with the
the third party fails to perform any required action. Before you
third-party payer that requires the third-party payer to do the
choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax
collecting, reporting, and/or paying or depositing employment
duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social
taxes on the qualified sick leave wages. If the employer has
security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party
an agency agreement with the third-party payer, the
payer, such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent,
third-party payer includes the qualified sick leave wages on
go to
IRS.gov/OutsourcingPayrollDuties
for helpful
the third party's aggregate Form 941, claims the sick leave
information on this topic. If a CPEO pays wages and other
credit on behalf of the employer on the aggregate Form 941,
compensation to an individual performing services for you,
and separately reports the credit allocable to the employers
and the services are covered by a contract described in
on Schedule R (Form 941). See section 6 of Pub. 15-A,
section 7705(e)(2) between you and the CPEO (CPEO
Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, for more information
contract), then the CPEO is generally treated for employment
about sick pay reporting.
tax purposes as the employer, but only for wages and other
-3-
Instructions for Form 941 (Rev. 3-2021)
For EFTPS, go to EFTPS.gov, or call EFTPS Customer
Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt or-
Service at 800-555-4477 or 800-733-4829 (TDD) for
ganizations hiring qualified veterans. Qualified
additional information.
tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed
For electronic filing of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax
veterans may be able to claim the work opportunity tax credit
Statement, go to SSA.gov/employer. You may be required to
against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C. For more
file Forms W-2 electronically. For details, see the General
information, go to IRS.gov/WOTC.
Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3.
Correcting a previously filed Form 941. If you discover
If you’re filing your tax return or paying your federal
an error on a previously filed Form 941, make the correction
taxes electronically, a valid employer identification
!
using Form 941-X. Form 941-X is filed separately from Form
number (EIN) is required at the time the return is filed
941. For more information, see the Instructions for Form
CAUTION
or the payment is made. If a valid EIN isn't provided, the
941-X, section 13 of Pub. 15, or go to
IRS.gov/
return or payment won't be processed. This may result in
CorrectingEmploymentTaxes.
penalties. See
Employer identification number
(EIN), later, for
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds
information about applying for an EIN.
transfer (EFT). You must use EFT to make all federal tax
Electronic funds withdrawal (EFW). If you file Form 941
deposits. Generally, an EFT is made using EFTPS. If you
electronically, you can e-file and use EFW to pay the balance
don't want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax
due in a single step using tax preparation software or through
professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other
a tax professional. However, don't use EFW to make federal
trusted third party to make electronic deposits on your behalf.
tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes
Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a
using EFW, go to IRS.gov/EFW.
same-day wire payment on your behalf. EFTPS is a free
service provided by the Department of the Treasury.
Credit or debit card payments. You can pay the balance
Services provided by your tax professional, financial
due shown on Form 941 by credit or debit card. Your
institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a
payment will be processed by a payment processor who will
fee.
charge a processing fee. Don't use a credit or debit card to
make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying
For more information on making federal tax deposits, see
your taxes with a credit or debit card, go to
IRS.gov/
section 11 of Pub. 15. To get more information about EFTPS
or to enroll in EFTPS, go to EFTPS.gov, or call 800-555-4477
PayByCard.
or 800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS
Online payment agreement. You may be eligible to apply
is also available in Pub. 966.
for an installment agreement online if you can't pay the full
amount of tax you owe when you file your return. For more
For an EFTPS deposit to be on time, you must
information, see
What if you can't pay in
full, later.
submit the deposit by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day
!
before the date the deposit is due.
Paid preparers. If you use a paid preparer to complete
CAUTION
Form 941, the paid preparer must complete and sign the paid
Same-day wire payment option. If you fail to submit a
preparer's section of the form.
deposit transaction on EFTPS by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day
before the date a deposit is due, you can still make your
Where can you get telephone help? For answers to your
deposit on time by using the Federal Tax Collection Service
questions about completing Form 941 or tax deposit rules,
(FTCS) to make a same-day wire payment. To use the
you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 or 800-829-4059
same-day wire payment method, you will need to make
(TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have
arrangements with your financial institution ahead of time.
a speech disability), Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00
Please check with your financial institution regarding
p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).
availability, deadlines, and costs. Your financial institution
Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud
may charge you a fee for payments made this way. To learn
partner with the
National Center for Missing & Exploited
more about the information you will need to give your
Children®
(NCMEC). Photographs of missing children
financial institution to make a same-day wire payment, go to
selected by the Center may appear in instructions on pages
IRS.gov/SameDayWire.
that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these
Timeliness of federal tax deposits. If a deposit is
children home by looking at the photographs and calling
required to be made on a day that isn't a business day, the
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
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
General Instructions:
Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term “legal holiday”
for deposit purposes includes only those legal holidays in the
Purpose of Form 941
District of Columbia. Legal holidays in the District of
Columbia are provided in section 11 of Pub. 15.
These instructions give you some background information
Electronic filing and payment. Businesses can enjoy the
about Form 941. They tell you who must file Form 941, how
benefits of filing tax returns and paying their federal taxes
to complete it line by line, and when and where to file it.
electronically. Whether you rely on a tax professional or
handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient
If you want more in-depth information about payroll tax
programs to make filing and paying easier. Spend less time
topics relating to Form 941, see Pub. 15 or go to
IRS.gov/
worrying about taxes and more time running your business.
EmploymentTaxes.
Use e-file and EFTPS to your benefit.
Federal law requires you, as an employer, to withhold
For e-file, go to
IRS.gov/EmploymentEfile
for additional
certain taxes from your employees' pay. Each time you pay
information. A fee may be charged to file electronically.
wages, you must withhold—or take out of your employees'
pay—certain amounts for federal income tax, social security
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Instructions for Form 941 (Rev. 3-2021)
Requesting To File Forms 941 Instead of Form
tax, and Medicare tax. You must also withhold Additional
Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess
944, or Requesting To File Form 944 Instead of
of $200,000 in a calendar year. Under the withholding
Forms 941
system, taxes withheld from your employees are credited to
your employees in payment of their tax liabilities.
Requesting to file Forms 941 instead of Form 944.
Employers that would otherwise be required to file Form 944,
Federal law also requires you to pay any liability for the
Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, may contact the
employer share of social security and Medicare taxes. This
IRS to request to file quarterly Forms 941 instead of annual
share of social security and Medicare taxes isn't withheld
Form 944. To request to file quarterly Forms 941 to report
from employees.
your social security and Medicare taxes for the 2021
Who Must File Form 941?
calendar year, you must either call the IRS at 800-829-4933
between January 1, 2021, and April 1, 2021, or send a
written request postmarked between January 1, 2021, and
If you pay wages subject to federal income tax withholding or
March 15, 2021. After you contact the IRS, the IRS will send
social security and Medicare taxes, you must file Form 941
you a written notice that your filing requirement has been
quarterly to report the following amounts.
changed to Forms 941. You must receive written notice from
Wages you’ve paid.
the IRS to file Forms 941 instead of Form 944 before you
Tips your employees reported to you.
may file these forms. If you don't receive this notice, you must
Federal income tax you withheld.
Both the employer and the employee share of social
file Form 944 for calendar year 2021.
security and Medicare taxes.
Requesting to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941. If
Additional Medicare Tax withheld from employees.
you’re required to file Forms 941 but believe your
Current quarter's adjustments to social security and
employment taxes for calendar year 2021 will be $1,000 or
Medicare taxes for fractions of cents, sick pay, tips, and
less, you may request to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941
group-term life insurance.
by calling the IRS at 800-829-4933 between January 1, 2021,
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing
and April 1, 2021, or sending a written request postmarked
research activities.
between January 1, 2021, and March 15, 2021. After you
Credit for qualified sick and family leave wages.
contact the IRS, the IRS will send you a written notice that
Employee retention credit.
your filing requirement has been changed to Form 944. You
Total advances received from filing Form(s) 7200 for the
must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944
quarter.
instead of Forms 941 before you may file this form. If you
don't receive this notice, you must file Forms 941 for calendar
Don't use Form 941 to report backup withholding or
year 2021.
income tax withholding on nonpayroll payments such as
pensions, annuities, and gambling winnings. Report these
Where to send written requests. Written requests should
types of withholding on Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld
be sent to:
Federal Income Tax. Also, don't use Form 941 to report
unemployment taxes. Report unemployment taxes on Form
Department of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax
Internal Revenue Service
or
Internal Revenue Service
Return.
Ogden, UT 84201-0038
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0038
After you file your first Form 941, you must file a return for
each quarter, even if you have no taxes to report, unless you
filed a final return or one of the exceptions listed next applies.
If you would mail your return filed without a payment to
Ogden, as shown under
Where Should You
File, later, send
Exceptions
your request to the Ogden address shown above. If you
would mail your return filed without a payment to Kansas
Special rules apply to some employers.
City, send your request to the address for Cincinnati shown
If you received notification to file Form 944, you must file
above. For more information about these procedures, see
Form 944 annually; don't file Form 941 quarterly.
Rev. Proc. 2009-51, 2009-45 I.R.B. 625, available at
Seasonal employers don't have to file a Form 941 for
IRS.gov/irb/2009-45_IRB#RP-2009-51.
quarters in which they have no tax liability because they have
paid no wages. To tell the IRS that you won't file a return for
What if You Reorganize or Close Your
one or more quarters during the year, check the box on
Business?
line 18 every quarter you file Form 941. See section 12 of
Pub. 15 for more information.
If You Sell or Transfer Your Business . . .
Employers of household employees don't usually file
If you sell or transfer your business during the quarter, you
Form 941. See Pub. 926 and Schedule H (Form 1040) for
and the new owner must each file a Form 941 for the quarter
more information.
in which the transfer occurred. Report only the wages you
Employers of farm employees don't file Form 941 for
paid.
wages paid for agricultural labor. See Form 943 and Pub. 51
for more information.
When two businesses merge, the continuing firm must file
If none of the these exceptions apply and you haven't
a return for the quarter in which the change took place and
filed a final return, you must file Form 941 each
TIP
the other firm should file a final return.
quarter even if you didn't pay wages during the
quarter. Use IRS e-file, if possible.
Changing from one form of business to another—such as
from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or corporation—is
considered a transfer. If a transfer occurs, you may need a
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Instructions for Form 941 (Rev. 3-2021)