Instructions for IRS Form 944 "Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return"

This document contains official instructions for IRS Form 944, Employer's Annual 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 944 is available for download through this link.

Instruction Details:

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  • Actual and applicable for filing 2020 taxes;
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2020
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Instructions for Form 944
Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code
would have filed Form 7200, Advance Payment of
unless otherwise noted.
Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. The amount of all
advances received from Forms 7200 filed for the year is
Future Developments
reported on line 10g. See the instructions for
line 10g
for
more information.
For the latest information about developments related to
The credit for qualified sick and family leave wages
Form 944 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted
(reported on lines 8b and 10d) and the employee retention
after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form944.
credit (reported on lines 8c and 10e) are figured on
What's New
Worksheet
1.
Changes to Form 944 for coronavirus (COVID-19) re-
New filing addresses. The filing addresses have
lated employment tax credits and other tax relief.
changed for some employers. See
Where Should You
The following significant changes have been made to
File, later, before filing your return.
Form 944 to allow for the reporting of new employment tax
Social security and Medicare tax for 2020. The rate of
credits and other tax relief related to COVID-19.
social security tax on taxable wages, except for qualified
The new credit for qualified sick and family leave wages
sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages, is
is reported on line 8b and, if applicable, line 10d. The
6.2% (0.062) each for the employer and employee or
employee share of social security tax on qualified sick and
12.4% (0.124) for both. Qualified sick leave wages and
family leave wages is reported on lines 4a(i) and 4a(ii).
qualified family leave wages aren't subject to the employer
Qualified sick and family leave wages aren’t subject to the
share of social security tax; therefore, the tax rate on
employer share of social security tax. Qualified sick and
these wages is 6.2% (0.062). The social security wage
family leave wages not included on lines 4a(i) and 4a(ii)
base limit is $137,700.
because the wages reported on that line are limited by the
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% (0.0145) each for the
social security wage base are included on line 4c.
employee and employer, unchanged from 2019. There is
Qualified health plan expenses allocable to qualified sick
no wage base limit for Medicare tax.
and family leave wages are reported on lines 15 and 16.
See the instructions for
line 8b
for information about the
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages
new credit for qualified sick and family leave wages.
of household workers you pay $2,200 or more in cash
The new employee retention credit is reported on
wages in 2020. Social security and Medicare taxes apply
line 8c and, if applicable, line 10e. Qualified wages
to election workers who are paid $1,900 or more in cash
(excluding qualified health plan expenses) for the
or an equivalent form of compensation in 2020.
employee retention credit are reported on line 17 (these
Reminders
amounts should also be included as wages on lines 4a
and 4c, and, if applicable, line 4d). Qualified health plan
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for in-
expenses allocable to the qualified wages for the
creasing research activities. For tax years beginning
employee retention credit are reported on line 18. See the
after 2015, a qualified small business may elect to claim
instructions for
line 8c
for information about the new
up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research
employee retention credit.
activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer
Employers, including government employers, can defer
share of social security tax. The payroll tax credit election
the deposit of the employer share of social security tax
must be made on or before the due date of the originally
due on or after March 27, 2020, and before January 1,
filed income tax return (including extensions). The portion
2021, as well as payment due for the employer share of
of the credit used against the employer share of social
social security tax for wages paid on or after March 27,
security tax is allowed in the first calendar quarter
2020, and before January 1, 2021. The amount of deferral
beginning after the date that the qualified small business
is reported on line 10b. See the instructions for
line 10b
for
filed its income tax return. The first Form 944 that you
more information.
could claim this credit on was Form 944 filed for calendar
Employers could defer the withholding and payment of
year 2017. The election and determination of the credit
the employee share of social security tax on wages paid
amount that will be used against the employer share of
on or after September 1, 2020, and before January 1,
social security tax are made on Form 6765, Credit for
2021, but only if the amount of wages for a biweekly pay
Increasing Research Activities. The amount from Form
period were less than $4,000 (or an equivalent amount for
6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form 8974,
other pay periods). The amount of deferral is reported on
Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing
line 10c. See the instructions for
line 10c
for more
Research Activities. Form 8974 is used to determine the
information.
amount of the credit that can be used in the current year.
Employers that requested an advance of the sick and
The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is reported on Form
family leave credit and/or the employee retention credit
Nov 20, 2020
Cat. No. 39820A
2020
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Instructions for Form 944
Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code
would have filed Form 7200, Advance Payment of
unless otherwise noted.
Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. The amount of all
advances received from Forms 7200 filed for the year is
Future Developments
reported on line 10g. See the instructions for
line 10g
for
more information.
For the latest information about developments related to
The credit for qualified sick and family leave wages
Form 944 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted
(reported on lines 8b and 10d) and the employee retention
after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Form944.
credit (reported on lines 8c and 10e) are figured on
What's New
Worksheet
1.
Changes to Form 944 for coronavirus (COVID-19) re-
New filing addresses. The filing addresses have
lated employment tax credits and other tax relief.
changed for some employers. See
Where Should You
The following significant changes have been made to
File, later, before filing your return.
Form 944 to allow for the reporting of new employment tax
Social security and Medicare tax for 2020. The rate of
credits and other tax relief related to COVID-19.
social security tax on taxable wages, except for qualified
The new credit for qualified sick and family leave wages
sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages, is
is reported on line 8b and, if applicable, line 10d. The
6.2% (0.062) each for the employer and employee or
employee share of social security tax on qualified sick and
12.4% (0.124) for both. Qualified sick leave wages and
family leave wages is reported on lines 4a(i) and 4a(ii).
qualified family leave wages aren't subject to the employer
Qualified sick and family leave wages aren’t subject to the
share of social security tax; therefore, the tax rate on
employer share of social security tax. Qualified sick and
these wages is 6.2% (0.062). The social security wage
family leave wages not included on lines 4a(i) and 4a(ii)
base limit is $137,700.
because the wages reported on that line are limited by the
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% (0.0145) each for the
social security wage base are included on line 4c.
employee and employer, unchanged from 2019. There is
Qualified health plan expenses allocable to qualified sick
no wage base limit for Medicare tax.
and family leave wages are reported on lines 15 and 16.
See the instructions for
line 8b
for information about the
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages
new credit for qualified sick and family leave wages.
of household workers you pay $2,200 or more in cash
The new employee retention credit is reported on
wages in 2020. Social security and Medicare taxes apply
line 8c and, if applicable, line 10e. Qualified wages
to election workers who are paid $1,900 or more in cash
(excluding qualified health plan expenses) for the
or an equivalent form of compensation in 2020.
employee retention credit are reported on line 17 (these
Reminders
amounts should also be included as wages on lines 4a
and 4c, and, if applicable, line 4d). Qualified health plan
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for in-
expenses allocable to the qualified wages for the
creasing research activities. For tax years beginning
employee retention credit are reported on line 18. See the
after 2015, a qualified small business may elect to claim
instructions for
line 8c
for information about the new
up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research
employee retention credit.
activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer
Employers, including government employers, can defer
share of social security tax. The payroll tax credit election
the deposit of the employer share of social security tax
must be made on or before the due date of the originally
due on or after March 27, 2020, and before January 1,
filed income tax return (including extensions). The portion
2021, as well as payment due for the employer share of
of the credit used against the employer share of social
social security tax for wages paid on or after March 27,
security tax is allowed in the first calendar quarter
2020, and before January 1, 2021. The amount of deferral
beginning after the date that the qualified small business
is reported on line 10b. See the instructions for
line 10b
for
filed its income tax return. The first Form 944 that you
more information.
could claim this credit on was Form 944 filed for calendar
Employers could defer the withholding and payment of
year 2017. The election and determination of the credit
the employee share of social security tax on wages paid
amount that will be used against the employer share of
on or after September 1, 2020, and before January 1,
social security tax are made on Form 6765, Credit for
2021, but only if the amount of wages for a biweekly pay
Increasing Research Activities. The amount from Form
period were less than $4,000 (or an equivalent amount for
6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form 8974,
other pay periods). The amount of deferral is reported on
Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing
line 10c. See the instructions for
line 10c
for more
Research Activities. Form 8974 is used to determine the
information.
amount of the credit that can be used in the current year.
Employers that requested an advance of the sick and
The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is reported on Form
family leave credit and/or the employee retention credit
Nov 20, 2020
Cat. No. 39820A
944, line 8a. If you’re claiming the research payroll tax
day before the date a deposit is due, you can still make
credit on your Form 944, you must attach Form 8974 to
your deposit on time by using the Federal Tax Collection
Form 944. For more information about the payroll tax
Service (FTCS) to make a same-day wire payment. To
credit, see Notice 2017-23, 2017-16 I.R.B. 1100, available
use the same-day wire payment method, you will need to
at IRS.gov/irb/2017-16_IRB#NOT-2017-23, and
IRS.gov/
make arrangements with your financial institution ahead of
ResearchPayrollTC. Also see
Adjusting tax liability for
time. Please check with your financial institution regarding
nonrefundable credits claimed on lines 8a, 8b, and
8c,
availability, deadlines, and costs. Your financial institution
later.
may charge you a fee for payments made this way. To
learn more about the information you will need to give
Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt
your financial institution to make a same-day wire
organizations hiring qualified veterans. Qualified
payment, go to IRS.gov/SameDayWire.
tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed
Timeliness of federal tax deposits. If a deposit is
veterans may be able to claim the work opportunity tax
required to be made on a day that isn't a business day, the
credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C.
deposit is considered timely if it is made by the close of
For more information, go to IRS.gov/WOTC.
the next business day. A business day is any day other
Employers can request to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or
than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term “legal
941-PR instead of Form 944. Employers required to file
holiday” for deposit purposes includes only those legal
Form 944, who want to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR
holidays in the District of Columbia. Legal holidays in the
instead, must contact the IRS to request to file quarterly
District of Columbia are provided in Pub. 15, Pub. 80, and
Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR and opt out of filing Form
Pub. 179.
944. See
What if You Want To File Forms 941, 941-SS, or
Electronic filing and payment. Businesses can enjoy
941-PR Instead of Form
944, later.
the benefits of filing tax returns and paying their federal
Correcting a previously filed Form 944. If you
taxes electronically. Whether you rely on a tax
discover an error on a previously filed Form 944, make the
professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you
correction using Form 944-X. Form 944-X is filed
convenient programs to make filing and paying easier.
separately from Form 944. For more information, see the
Spend less time worrying about taxes and more time
Instructions for Form 944-X, section 13 of Pub. 15, or go
running your business. Use e-file and EFTPS to your
to IRS.gov/CorrectingEmploymentTaxes.
benefit.
For e-file, go to
IRS.gov/EmploymentEfile
for more
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic
information. A fee may be charged to file electronically.
funds transfer (EFT). You must use EFT to make all
For EFTPS, go to
EFTPS.gov
or call EFTPS at one of
federal tax deposits. Generally, an EFT is made using the
the numbers provided under
Federal tax deposits must be
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you
made by electronic funds transfer
(EFT), earlier.
don't want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax
For electronic filing of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax
professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other
Statement, go to SSA.gov/employer. You may be required
trusted third party to make electronic deposits on your
to file Forms W-2 electronically. For details, see the
behalf. Also, you may arrange for your financial institution
General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3.
to initiate a same-day wire payment on your behalf.
EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of the
If you’re filing your tax return or paying your
Treasury. Services provided by your tax professional,
federal taxes electronically, a valid employer
!
financial institution, payroll service, or other third party
identification number (EIN) is required at the time
CAUTION
may have a fee.
the return is filed or the payment is made. If a valid EIN
isn't provided, the return or payment won't be processed.
For more information on making federal tax deposits,
This may result in penalties. See
Employer identification
see section 11 of Pub. 15; section 8 of Pub. 80, Federal
number
(EIN), later, for information about applying for an
Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam,
EIN.
American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands; or section 11 of Pub. 179, Guía
Electronic funds withdrawal (EFW). If you file Form
Contributiva Federal para Patronos Puertorriqueños. To
944 electronically, you can e-file and use EFW to pay the
get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS,
balance due in a single step using tax preparation
go to
EFTPS.gov
or call one of the following numbers.
software or through a tax professional. However, don't use
800-555-4477
EFW to make federal tax deposits. For more information
800-733-4829 (TDD)
on paying your taxes using EFW, go to IRS.gov/EFW.
800-244-4829 (Spanish)
Credit or debit card payments. You can pay the
303-967-5916 if you're outside the United States (toll
balance due shown on Form 944 by credit or debit card.
call)
Your payment will be processed by a payment processor
Additional information about EFTPS is also available in
who will charge a processing fee. Don't use a credit or
Pub. 966 or Pub. 966 (SP).
debit card to make federal tax deposits. For more
For an EFTPS deposit to be on time, you must
information on paying your taxes with a credit or debit
submit the deposit by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day
!
card, go to IRS.gov/PayByCard.
before the date the deposit is due.
CAUTION
Online payment agreement. You may be eligible to
Same-day wire payment option. If you fail to submit a
apply for an installment agreement online if you can’t pay
deposit transaction on EFTPS by 8 p.m. Eastern time the
the full amount of tax you owe when you file your return.
-2-
Instructions for Form 944 (2020)
For more information, see
What if you can't pay in
full,
Under the withholding system, taxes withheld from your
later.
employees are credited to your employees in payment of
their tax liabilities.
Paid preparers. If you use a paid preparer to complete
Form 944, the paid preparer must complete and sign the
References to federal income tax withholding
paid preparer's section of the form.
don't apply to employers in American Samoa,
!
Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern
Outsourcing payroll duties. You’re responsible to
CAUTION
Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico,
ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and
unless you have employees who are subject to U.S.
payments are made, even if you contract with a third party
income tax withholding.
to perform these acts. You remain responsible if the third
party fails to perform any required action. Before you
Federal law also requires you to pay any liability for the
choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax
employer share of social security tax and Medicare tax.
duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over
This share of social security tax and Medicare tax isn't
social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a
withheld from employees.
third-party payer, such as a payroll service provider or
reporting agent, go to
IRS.gov/OutsourcingPayrollDuties
For more information about annual employment tax
for helpful information on this topic. For more information
filing and tax deposit rules, see Treasury Decision 9566,
on the different types of third-party payer arrangements,
2012-8 I.R.B. 389, at IRS.gov/irb/2012-08_IRB#TD-9566.
see section 16 of Pub. 15.
Who Must File Form 944?
Where can you get telephone help? For answers to
your questions about completing Form 944 or tax deposit
In general, if the IRS has notified you to file Form 944, you
rules, call the IRS at one of the numbers listed below.
must file Form 944 instead of Forms 941, 941-SS, or
800-829-4933 (Business and Specialty Tax Line) or
941-PR to report the following amounts.
800-829-4059 (TDD/TTY for persons who are deaf, hard
Wages you have paid.
of hearing, or have a speech disability), Monday–Friday
Tips your employees reported to you.
from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii
Federal income tax you withheld.
follow Pacific time; employers in Puerto Rico receive
Both the employer and the employee share of social
service from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time).
security and Medicare taxes.
267-941-1000 if you're outside the United States (toll
Additional Medicare Tax withheld from employees.
call), Monday–Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern
Current year's adjustments to social security and
time.
Medicare taxes for fractions of cents, sick pay, tips, and
Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud
group-term life insurance.
partner with the
National Center for Missing & Exploited
Deferred amount of the employer share of social
Children®
(NCMEC). Photographs of missing children
security tax.
selected by the Center may appear in instructions on
Deferred amount of the employee share of social
pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring
security tax.
these children home by looking at the photographs and
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing
calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you
research activities.
recognize a child.
Credit for qualified sick and family leave wages.
Employee retention credit.
General Instructions
If you received notification to file Form 944, you must
file Form 944 to report your social security, Medicare, and
Purpose of Form 944
withheld federal income taxes for the 2020 calendar year
unless you called the IRS between January 1, 2020, and
Form 944 is designed so the smallest employers (those
April 1, 2020, or sent a written request postmarked
whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and
between January 1, 2020, and March 16, 2020, to request
withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less) will file
to file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR quarterly instead
and pay these taxes only once a year instead of every
and received written confirmation that your filing
quarter. These instructions give you some background
requirement was changed. You must file Form 944 even if
information about Form 944. They tell you who must file
you have no taxes to report (or you have taxes in excess
Form 944, how to complete it line by line, and when and
of $1,000 to report) unless you filed a final return for the
where to file it.
prior year. See
If Your Business Has
Closed..., later. Also
If you want more in-depth information about payroll tax
see
What if You Want To File Forms 941, 941-SS, or
topics relating to Form 944, see Pub. 15, Pub. 80, Pub.
941-PR Instead of Form
944, later.
179, or go to IRS.gov/EmploymentTaxes.
If the IRS notified you in writing to file Form 944,
Federal law requires you, as an employer, to withhold
you must file Form 944 (and not Forms 941,
!
certain taxes from your employees' pay. Each time you
941-SS, or 941-PR) even if your tax liability for
CAUTION
pay wages, you must withhold—or take out of your
2020 exceeds $1,000. Once your annual tax liability
employees' pay—certain amounts for federal income tax,
exceeds $1,000, the IRS will notify you that you're no
social security tax, and Medicare tax. You must also
longer eligible to file Form 944 in future years and that you
withhold Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to
must file Form 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR quarterly.
an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.
However, until you receive the notice, continue to file
-3-
Instructions for Form 944 (2020)
Form 944 annually. If you’re unsure of your current filing
2021, and March 15, 2021. Written requests should be
requirement, call 800-829-4933. If you're outside the
sent to:
United States, call 267-941-1000 (toll call).
Department of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
What if You Want To File Form 944 in Future
Internal Revenue Service
or
Internal Revenue Service
Years Instead of Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR?
Ogden, UT 84201-0038
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0038
If you haven't received notification to file Form 944 for
2021 but estimate your employment tax liability for
If you would mail your return filed without a payment to
calendar year 2021 will be $1,000 or less and would like
Ogden, as shown under
Where Should You
File, later,
to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR,
send your request to the Ogden address shown above. If
you can contact the IRS to request to file Form 944 for
you would mail your return filed without a payment to
2021. To file Form 944 for calendar year 2021, you must
Kansas City, send your request to the address for
call the IRS at 800-829-4933 (267-941-1000 (toll call) if
Cincinnati shown above. After you contact the IRS, the
you're outside the United States) between January 1,
IRS will send you a written notice that your filing
2021, and April 1, 2021, or send a written request
requirement has been changed. If you don't receive this
postmarked between January 1, 2021, and March 15,
notice, you must file Form 944 for calendar year 2021. For
2021. The mailing addresses for written requests are
more information about these procedures, see Rev. Proc.
provided under
What if You Want To File Forms 941,
2009-51, 2009-45 I.R.B. 625, available at
IRS.gov/irb/
941-SS, or 941-PR Instead of Form
944, later. The IRS
2009-45_IRB#RP-2009-51.
will send you a written notice that your filing requirement
has been changed to Form 944. If you don't receive this
Who Can't File Form 944?
notice, you must file Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR for
The following employers can't file Form 944.
calendar year 2021.
Employers who aren't notified. If the IRS doesn't
New Employers
notify you to file Form 944, don't file Form 944. If you
New employers are also eligible to file Form 944 if they
would like to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941, 941-SS,
will meet the eligibility requirements. New employers filing
or 941-PR, see
What if You Want To File Form 944 in
Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification
Future Years Instead of Forms 941, 941-SS, or
941-PR,
Number, or Form SS-4PR, Solicitud de Número de
earlier.
Identificación Patronal (EIN), must complete line 13 of
Household employers. If you employ only household
Form SS-4 or SS-4PR, indicating the highest number of
employees, don't file Form 944. For more information, see
employees expected in the next 12 months, and must
Pub. 926 and Schedule H (Form 1040), or Pub. 179 and
check the box on line 14 of Form SS-4 or SS-4PR to
Schedule H-PR.
indicate whether they expect to have $1,000 or less in
Agricultural employers. If you employ only
employment tax liability for the calendar year and would
agricultural employees, don't file Form 944. For more
like to file Form 944. Based on current tax rates, if you pay
information, see Pub. 51 and Form 943, or Pub. 179 and
$5,000 or less in wages subject to social security and
Form 943-PR.
Medicare taxes and federal income tax withholding during
the calendar year, you’re generally likely to pay $1,000 or
What if You Reorganize or Close Your
less in employment taxes. Generally, if you’re an
Business?
employer in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the
If You Sell or Transfer Your Business...
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the
U.S. Virgin Islands and you pay $6,536 or less in wages
If you sell or transfer your business during the year, you
subject to social security and Medicare taxes during the
and the new owner must each file a Form 944, 941,
calendar year, you’re likely to pay $1,000 or less in
941-SS, or 941-PR, whichever is required, for the year in
employment taxes. New employers are advised of their
which the transfer occurred. Report only the wages you
employment tax filing requirement when they are issued
paid.
their EIN.
When two businesses merge, the continuing firm must
What if You Want To File Forms 941, 941-SS, or
file a return for the year in which the change took place
941-PR Instead of Form 944?
and the other firm should file a final return.
You must file Form 944 if the IRS has notified you to do
so, unless the IRS notifies you to file quarterly Forms 941,
Changing from one form of business to another—such
941-SS, or 941-PR instead, or you contact the IRS to
as from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or
request to file those forms. To request to file quarterly
corporation—is considered a transfer. If a transfer occurs,
Forms 941, 941-SS, or 941-PR to report your social
you may need a new EIN. See Pub. 1635 and section 1 of
security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes for
Pub. 15 for more information.
the 2021 calendar year, call the IRS at 800-829-4933
Attach a statement to your return with all the following
(267-941-1000 (toll call) if you're outside the United
information.
States) between January 1, 2021, and April 1, 2021, or
send a written request postmarked between January 1,
The new owner's name (or the new name of the
business).
-4-
Instructions for Form 944 (2020)
Whether the business is now a sole proprietorship,
monitors tax filings and payments by using a numerical
partnership, or corporation.
system to identify taxpayers. A unique nine-digit EIN is
The kind of change that occurred (a sale or transfer).
assigned to all corporations, partnerships, and some sole
The date of the change.
proprietors. Businesses needing an EIN must apply for a
The name of the person keeping the payroll records
number and use it throughout the life of the business on all
and the address where those records will be kept.
tax returns, payments, and reports.
Your business should have only one EIN. If you have
If Your Business Has Closed...
more than one and aren't sure which one to use, write to
the IRS office where you file your returns (using the
If you permanently go out of business or stop paying
Without a payment address under
Where Should You
wages to your employees, you must file a final return. To
File, later) or call the IRS at 800-829-4933. If you're
tell the IRS that Form 944 for a particular year is your final
outside the United States, call 267-941-1000 (toll call).
return, check the box on line 14 and enter the final date
you paid wages. Also attach a statement to your return
If you don't have an EIN, you may apply for one online
showing the name of the person keeping the payroll
by visiting IRS.gov/EIN. You may also apply for an EIN by
records and the address where those records will be kept.
faxing or mailing Form SS-4 or SS-4PR to the IRS. If the
principal business was created or organized outside of the
If you participated in a statutory merger or
United States or U.S. territories, you may also apply for an
consolidation, or qualify for predecessor-successor status
EIN by calling 267-941-1099 (toll call). If you have applied
due to an acquisition, you should generally file
for an EIN but don't have your EIN by the time a return is
Schedule D (Form 941), Report of Discrepancies Caused
due, file a paper return and write “Applied For” and the
by Acquisitions, Statutory Mergers, or Consolidations.
date you applied in the space shown for the number.
See the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 941) to
If you’re filing your tax return electronically, a valid
determine whether you should file Schedule D (Form 941)
EIN is required at the time the return is filed. If a
!
and when you should file it.
valid EIN isn't provided, the return won't be
CAUTION
When Must You File?
accepted. This may result in penalties.
Always be sure the EIN on the form you file
For 2020, file Form 944 by February 1, 2021. However, if
exactly matches the EIN the IRS assigned to your
you made deposits on time in full payment of the taxes
TIP
business. Don't use your SSN or ITIN on forms
due for the year, you may file the return by February 10,
that ask for an EIN. Filing a Form 944 with an incorrect
2021.
EIN or using another business's EIN may result in
File Form 944 only once for each calendar year. If you
penalties and delays in processing your return.
filed Form 944 electronically, don't file a paper Form 944.
For more information about filing Form 944 electronically,
If you change your business name, business ad-
see
Electronic filing and
payment, earlier.
dress, or responsible party. Notify the IRS immediately
if you change your business name, business address, or
If we receive Form 944 after the due date, we will treat
responsible party.
Form 944 as filed on time if the envelope containing Form
Write to the IRS office where you file your returns (using
944 is properly addressed, contains sufficient postage,
the Without a payment address under
Where Should You
and is postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before
File, later) to notify the IRS of any business name change.
the due date, or sent by an IRS-designated private
See Pub. 1635 to see if you need to apply for a new EIN.
delivery service (PDS) on or before the due date. If you
Complete and mail Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of a
don't follow these guidelines, we will generally consider
business address or responsible party change. Don't mail
Form 944 filed when it is actually received. For more
Form 8822-B with your Form 944. For a definition of
information about PDSs, see
Where Should You
File,
"responsible party," see the Instructions for Form SS-4.
later.
Completing and Filing Form 944
How Should You Complete Form 944?
Make entries on Form 944 as follows to enable accurate
Enter your EIN, name, and address in the spaces
processing.
provided. Also enter your name and EIN at the top of
Use 12-point Courier font (if possible) for all entries if
pages 2 and 3. Don't use your social security number
you’re typing or using a computer to complete Form 944.
(SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
Portable Document Format (PDF) forms on IRS.gov have
Generally, enter the business (legal) name that you used
fillable fields with acceptable font specifications.
when you applied for your EIN. For example, if you’re a
Don't enter dollar signs and decimal points. Commas
sole proprietor, enter “Tyler Smith” on the Name line and
are optional. Report dollars to the left of the preprinted
“Tyler's Cycles” on the Trade name line. Leave the Trade
decimal point and cents to the right of it. Don’t round
name line blank if it is the same as your Name line.
entries to whole dollars. Always show an amount for
If you use a tax preparer to complete Form 944, make
cents, even if it is zero.
sure the preparer uses your correct business name and
Leave blank any data field with a value of zero (except
EIN.
line 9).
Enter negative amounts using a minus sign (if possible).
Employer identification number (EIN). To make sure
Otherwise, use parentheses.
that businesses comply with federal tax laws, the IRS
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Instructions for Form 944 (2020)
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