Symmetry PAYROLL Forms
Payroll Taxes
Payroll Talk
Payroll Goddess
Premiere Payroll Tax Research Library

Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return

Form 941 Defined

FICA Tax Rate and Wage Base

The FICA tax rate (for both the employer and the employee) is 6.2% and the wage base is $97,500 for 2007 and $102,000 for 2008. The Medicare tax rate (for both the employer and the employee) is 1.45%; all wages are subject to the tax.

Household Employers

Report FICA and Medicare taxes and income tax withholding on wages paid to household employees on your individual income tax return. FICA taxes for household employees are no longer reported on the quarterly Form 942 unless you are a sole proprietor and file Form 941 for other business employees.

Purpose of Form

File Form 941 to report:

(1) quarterly income tax withheld from wages, tips, supplemental unemployment compensation benefits, and third party payments of sick pay, and

(2) quarterly employer and employee social security and Medicare taxes.

Who Must File

Employers who withhold income tax, social security tax, or Medicare tax on wages must file Form 941 quarterly. Seasonal employers are not required to file for quarters when they regularly have no tax liability because no wages were paid.

If you sell or transfer your business, both you and the new owner must file a return for the quarter in which the change took place. Neither should report wages paid by the other.

The last return on Form 941 for any employer who either goes out of business or otherwise ceases to pay wages should be marked "final return." An employer who has only temporarily ceased to pay wages, including an employer engaged in seasonal activities, must continue to file returns.

Penalties and Interest

Avoid penalties and interest by making tax deposits when due, filing a correct return, and paying the proper amount of tax when due. The law provides penalties for late deposits and late filing unless you show reasonable cause for the delay. If you do file late, attach an explanation to the return. There are also penalties for wilful failure to pay tax, keep records, make returns, and filing false or fraudulent returns.

When to File

Quarterly tax returns on Form 941 must be filed on or before the last day of the month following the close of the calendar quarter to which it relates. If the employer has made timely deposits throughout the quarter, Form 941 may be delayed until the 10th day of the second month after the end of the quarter.

Where to File

How to Deposit

Use Form 8109 (Federal Tax Deposit Coupon) when you make each tax deposit. Make your deposits with an authorized financial institution or the Federal Reserve Bank for your area. Do not mail deposits directly to the IRS. Write your EIN, "Form 941," and the tax period to which the payment applies on your check to help ensure proper crediting to your account.

The timeliness of deposits will be determined by the date received by an authorized depository or Federal Reserve Bank. A deposit received after the due date of the deposit will be considered timely if it can be shown that it was mailed by the second day before the due date. Deposits of $20,000 or more which are made by taxpayers required to deposit any taxes more than once a month must be received by the due date of the deposit. The two-day mail rule does not apply to such deposits. is a free online resource featuring a compilation of research, collaboration and web tools for use by payroll professionals and more including information about payroll tax articles, federal tax information and state tax information.

Helpful Hint... Anytime you move or have a major life change (for example - marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.) always be sure to complete a new W-4!