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What Is Form 941 & When Must It Be Filed

A simple guide to help you understand the purpose of Form 941 and the due dates for filing Form 941 every quarter.

If you’re an employer, you must be familiar with Form 941, a federal tax return used to report the employee compensations and tax withholdings. This form is additionally used to figure and pay the employer’s portion of the federal taxes, such as the social security tax or the Medicare tax. 

Unlike 1099 reporting, 941 reporting and figuration is a little extensive, requiring you to gather all the necessary information, such as the employee salaries, wages, tips, paid sick leave, family leave, insurance coverage, and other information.

If you’ve been on the web, browsing for some quick, useful information regarding Form 941, your search ends here. 

This guide has been designed to give you a simple explanation of Form 941, its uses, due dates, and penalties. 

So, let’s get started.

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What Is Form 941? 

Form 941 is an IRS form popularly known as the ‘Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return’. It primarily deals with reporting employee compensations, such as salaries and paid sick leaves and paid sick wages. 

If you’re an employer and you’ve withheld federal taxes from your employee’s paycheck, such as the Medicare taxes and social security taxes, then you must report the same on Form 941. 

Employers report their share of the social security tax and Medicare tax and pay the tax due by the IRS deadlines with Form 941. 

Form 941 needs to be filed by the end of the last month of every quarter in a calendar year. 

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When Should You File Form 941? 

Since Form 941 is a quarterly federal tax return, it must be prepared and filed by the employer at the end of every quarter. 

The IRS states that the regulations prohibit an extension for Form 941 filing deadline. However, if you have a valid reason, you may request the IRS for a filing extension by writing a letter.

See this guide for requesting a deadline extension for Form 941.

Due Dates For Form 941

The following table will help you understand your Form 941 filing cycle in a calendar year.

If The Quarter IsThen The Due Date Is
January, February, MarchApril 30
April, May, JuneJuly 31
July, August, SeptemberOctober 31
October, November, DecemberJanuary 31

Late Filing Penalties For Form 941

The IRS will impose a late filing penalty if it doesn’t receive your Form 941 by or on the due date. In such a case, a standard 5% of the unpaid tax amount will be levied as the penalty for delayed Form 941 filing

This amount will continue to accrue interest for every month until the unpaid tax amount is paid in full by the filer and Form 941 has been submitted.

The following is an overview of the late filing penalty for Form 941 excluding the 5% standard figure, and only a representation of the penalty for unpaid taxes. 

Form 941 Tax: Late By (Days)Penalty
1 to 5 days2% of the tax due will be calculated as a penalty
6 to 15 days5% of the tax due will be calculated as a penalty
16 days or more10% of the tax due will be calculated as a penalty
10 days within the IRS notice for delayed submission15% of the amount due will be calculated as a penalty

Where To File Form 941? 

You can start filing Form 941 with Tax1099 – a digital tax compliance platform designed to help businesses like you easily create, prepare, validate, and eFile 941 returns seamlessly. 

Create your free Tax1099 account to get started. Explore Features | View API Solutions.