Taxpayers' Obligations For Filing A Form 941

This is the second post in the Employment Tax Law series.  This series is dedicated to presenting individuals, sole proprietorships, and small to large businesses with a basic understanding of employment taxes, including the risks and responsibilities associated with those taxes.   

After a taxpayer files its first Form 941, it MUST continue to file quarterly returns, even if the taxpayer does not have any taxes to report, until it has filed a final return, or it meets one of the following exceptions:

1. Seasonal employers. These taxpayers do not have to file a Form 941 for the quarters in which they have no tax liability because they have paid no wages. When doing this, the taxpayer must be sure to inform the IRS that it will not be filing for one or more quarters throughout the year by checking the box on Line 19 of the form.
2. Employers of household employees. Please see Section 12 of Pub. 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide, and Schedule H, Household Employment Taxes, for more information.
3. Employers of farm employees. Please see Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees and Pub. 51.
Taxpayers must file their initial Form 941 for the quarter in which they first paid wages that are subject to social security and Medicare taxes or subject to federal income tax withholding.The months covered in each quarter and the corresponding filing deadlines are listed below: 1. First Quarter. Includes January, February, and March. Ends March 31. Form 941 is due by April 30.
2. Second Quarter. Includes April, May, and June. Ends June 30. Form 941 is due by July 31.
3. Third Quarter. Includes July, August, and September. Ends September 30. Form 941 is due by October 31.
4. Fourth Quarter. Includes October, November, and December. Ends December 31. Form 941 is due by January 31.