Tax Season 2017: Understanding Form 941

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Form 941 is an essential form for all employers that pay employees and withhold federal and FICA (social security and Medicare) taxation. In recent years, several changes to Form 941 have made it difficult to understand. The importance of reconciliation and completion of not only Form 941, but Schedule B, is becoming increasingly important for employers to avoid costly disputes with the IRS resulting in penalty and interest. Form 941 includes quarterly calculations and reports:

  • Reports of amounts withheld from employee paychecks
  • Calculation of amounts due, from taxable social security and Medicare wages
  • Adjustments for tips and sick pay

The IRS has released a draft of the 2017 Form 941, which, on revised Lines 11 and 12, reflects the new research and development tax credit for small start-up businesses. A draft Schedule B has also been release payroll software to account for the line revisions. The 2017 instructions have not, at the time of this writing, yet been released in draft form.

How to complete Form 941

When preparing a Form 941 for the quarter, report the number of employees, the total wages paid and the amount of taxes withheld to determine the amount required to send to the IRS. Before starting the return, compile all payroll records plus documentation for any taxable tips reported by employees.

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“A & A strives to provide service but also education and enhance customer knowledge in order to provide resources for increasing challenges to HR, health care and other regulatory professionals. Partnership is a top priority, and A & A works closely with each customer to insure compliance along with a cost-effective solution.”

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