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What Is Form 941?

IRS Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is used by employers to report income and payroll tax withholdings, Social Security, and Medicare tax burden. 

The complete list of items reported on Form 941 includes:

  • Employee wages, including tips and other compensation
  • Federal income tax withholdings (payroll)
  • Medicare tax withholdings (employee and employer shares)
  • Social Security benefits withholdings 
  • Quarterly SS and Medicare tax adjustments for various reasons such as sick pay

While that is a lot of information, simply know that Form 941 will tell you what your overall payroll tax responsibility is for that quarter.

Who Needs to File IRS Form 941?

If you’re reading this, chances are you either already know you have to fill out Form 941 (in which case, feel free to skip to the next section) or you’re not sure yet.

So, let’s talk for a sec about who needs to fill out form 941.

Most businesses with employees must file Form 941 each quarter, with some exceptions typically in the form of the type of employee you employee:

  • Business that employ maids and nannies
  • Businesses that employee strictly farmworkers
  • And seasonal businesses are only required to file during quarters in which they weren’t operational (i.e. they had no employees)

Each state and business type is different, however, and the list of who does and doesn’t need to fill out Form 941 is beyond the scope of this guide.

Make sure to check the IRS’s official page on Form 941 to verify if you need to fill it out or not: About Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.

How to File IRS Form 941: Step-by-Step Instructions

IRS Form 941 is relatively simple and straightforward.

We suggest filing Form 941 through a tax preparation software, which will semi-automate the process for you and cut down on time.

However, if you need to manually fill out Form 941, here are step-by-step instructions:

*Note: Keep in mind, Form 941 comes with a payment voucher, which you’ll use if you’re required to submit payment with Form 941. 

1. Fill in your business information

First, start by filling out your basic business information at the top of the form:

Also, make sure to check off which quarter you’re reporting for to the right of that box here:

2. Complete Part 1: Wages and withholdings

Next, part one requires you to fill in an assortment of information related to wages and payroll tax for that quarter:

This is where you’ll note down your own numbers including SS payments, medicare withholdings, and payroll withholdings.

Keep in mind that line 5e is the total you get from adding 5a – 5d (SS wages and tips + Medicare wages and tips).

3. Complete Part 2: Deposit scheduling

The next section is quick and easy with straightforward instructions. You’ll simply note down at what frequency you deposit based on your payroll:

Note that if you’re a semi-weekly depositor, you’ll need to also fill out Schedule B of Form 941 and send it with Form 941. 

4. Complete Part 3 + 4

Parts three and four are, fortunately, short and to the point.

First, you’ll fill out whichever of the two questions in part three apply to you (if none, you can leave the section blank):

Part four is only relevant if you’re working with a CPA or other tax preparation specialist and you’re authorizing them to speak on your behalf with regards to your business return and Form 941.

5. Sign and date

Finally, finish by signing and dating at the bottom:

The section below your signature will only be used if you paid a tax preparer or CPA to complete Form 941 on your behalf, in which case they would sign here.

What Is the Deadline for Filing Form 941?

IRS deadlines for filing Form 941 is typically one month after the final day of the reporting window. 

That makes the reporting day for each quarter:

  • Q1 (Jan, Feb, Mar): April 30th
  • Q2 (Apr, May, June): July 31st
  • Q3 (July, Aug, Sept): Oct 31st
  • Q4 (Oct, Nov, Dec): Jan 31st

Keep in mind that you can obtain additional time if you’ve paid your employment tax deposits in full for that quarter. The IRS allows an additional 10 days to file, which would be added on top of the deadlines listed above. 

Can You File Electronically?

Yes, Form 941 can be filed electronically or by mail. 

See this IRS article for more information on which software is authorized to e-file Form 941.

Where to File Form 941

If you’re required to, or simply prefer, physically mailing Form 941, that’s an option as well.

Here’s a chart that shows exactly what address you should send Form 941 depending on what state you’re located in:

Important: If you do not have a principal place of business in any state, or a legal residence, you’ll need to mail Form 941 to one of the addresses below. 

For returns without payments included, send Form 941 to:

Internal Revenue Service

PO Box 409101

Ogden, UT 84409

For returns with payments included, send Form 941 to:

Internal Revenue Service

P.O. Box 932100

Louisville, KY 40293-2100

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