Employment Tax Due Dates

Employment Tax Due Dates

As a business owner and an employer, you already have several dates to keep straight, so add these employment tax due dates to your calendar now so you don’t miss an important deadline.

Due by January 31

Form 940

Form 940 is the Employer’s Annual Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. The FUTA tax and state unemployment taxes provide funds for unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Only employers pay the FUTA tax, and it is not deducted from your employees’ pay.

Form 944

Form 944 is the Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return and is filed in place of Form 941 – if the IRS has notified you in writing to file Form 944. If you withheld $1,000 or less in social security, Medicare, and federal income taxes, then you may be eligible to file Form 944 and pay these taxes annually, instead of quarterly.

Form 945

Form 945 is the Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax. Form 945 is only used to report withheld federal income tax from non-payroll payments, which include:

  • Pensions and annuities,
  • Military retirement,
  • Gambling winnings,
  • Indian gaming profits,
  • Voluntary withholding on certain government payments, and
  • Backup withholding.

Form(s) W-2 and Form W-3

Form W-2, the Wage and Tax Statement, is probably a form you are very familiar with. You must file a Form W-2 for every employee from whom you withheld income, social security, or Medicare taxes.

Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, is used to transmit information for all paper Forms W-2 you file and should be filed with Copy A of Form(s) W-2. Please note, you do not have to file Form W-3 if you e-file Form(s) W-2.

Form(s) 1099-MISC with Amount in Box 7 and Form 1096

Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, is filed for each person to whom you have paid:

  • $10 or more in royalties or broker payments;
  • $600 or more in
    • rent;
    • services performed by someone who is not your employee (i.e. a contractor);
    • prizes and awards;
    • other income payments;
    • medical or healthcare payments;
    • crop insurance proceeds;
    • cash payments for fish purchased from anyone involved in the business of catching fish;
    • cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate;
    • payments to an attorney; or
    • fishing boat proceeds.

If you have an amount in Box 7 (Nonemployee Compensation), then you must file Form(s) 1099-MISC by January 31.

Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, is used to transmit information for all paper Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G to the IRS. Please note, you do not have to file Form 1096 if you e-file Form(s) 1099-MISC.

Due by February 28 or March 31

Form(s) 1099-MISC

If you do not report an amount on Form 1099-MISC Box 7, you have longer to file Form(s) 1099-MISC. When filing a paper copy of Form 1099-MISC with Form 1096, file forms by February 28. If you e-file your Form(s) 1099-MISC, you have until March 31 to file.

Form 8027

Form 8027, Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, is used to report receipts and tips from large food or beverage establishments and to determine allocated tips for tipped employees.

If you file a paper copy of Form 8027, file by February 28. If you e-file Form 8027, you have until March 31 to file.

Due by April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31

Form 941

Form 941 is the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. You will use Form 941 to report income, social security and Medicare taxes withheld from your employees’ paychecks. You will also use Form 941 to pay your portion of the social security and Medicare taxes.

Form 941 is due the month after each quarter ends. The form for Quarter 1 (January-March) is due April 30; Quarter 2 (April-June) is due July 31; Quarter 3 (July-September) is due October 31; and Quarter 4 (October-December) is due January 31 of the following year.

Deposit Due Dates

You must deposit federal income tax withheld and the employer and employee portions of social security and Medicare taxes.

There are two deposit schedules – monthly and semi-weekly. You can determine which schedule to use based on your reported tax liability during a lookback period. You will have to look at your total taxes after adjustments, found on Line 12 on Form 941, to determine your tax liability.

The lookback period runs from July 1 through June 30. According to the IRS, the lookback period for calendar year 2017 is

3rd Quarter 2015

4th Quarter 2015 1st Quarter 2016 2nd Quarter 2016
July 1, 2015 October 1, 2015 January 1, 2016 April 1, 2016
through through through through
September 30, 2015 December 31, 2015 March 31, 2016

June 30, 2016

If your total taxes for the four quarters during the lookback period were $50,000 or less, you’re a monthly depositor. If your total taxes were greater than $50,000, you’re a semi-weekly depositor.

Monthly Depositor

Monthly depositors must deposit employment taxes on payments made during a month by the 15th day of the following month.

Semi-Weekly Depositor

Semi-weekly depositors make deposits based on payment schedules. If you pay your employees on Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday, you’ll deposit your employment taxes by the following Wednesday. If you pay your employees on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday, you’ll deposit your employment taxes by the following Friday.

FUTA Deposits

Determine and deposit your FUTA tax quarterly. You stop depositing FUTA tax on an employee’s wages after they reach $7,000 in taxable wages in a calendar year.

You must make FUTA deposits by the last day of the first month after the end of the quarter. Below is the timetable for making FUTA deposits:

Quarter Ending FUTA Tax Due Date
1: January – March March 31 April 30
2: May – June June 30 July 31
3: July – September September 30 October 31
4: October – December December 31 January 31