It is beginning to look a lot like tax time for America's businesses. With the end of every calendar year and the start of a new one comes the responsibility of making sure numerous tax forms are filed accurately and on time. And make no mistake; the IRS is a stickler about timeliness.
For payroll and corporate finance departments, there are a few key dates every year. These are outlined in this post. As always, remember that one of the benefits of online payroll service from BenefitMall is that we help ensure you do not miss those important tax dates.
January 31, 2018
January 31 is by far the most important tax date from a payroll perspective. In terms of sheer volume, this is the date when most of the company's forms are due. By midnight on January 31, businesses must:
- File W-2 and W3 Forms – These are the forms used to report wages, taxes, and withholding to both the IRS and the Social Security Administration. In addition to filing the forms, employees must be given their copies of the W-2 by the end of January.
- File Form 940 – This form must be filed for employers who pay federal unemployment tax. A 10-day extension is available to those who make all FUTA deposits on time.
- File Forms 943, 944, and 945 – The specialized forms only apply to some employers. If they apply to your company, your payroll provider or in-house staff should know about them.
- File Forms 1099 and 1096 – Both these forms relate to miscellaneous income paid to independent contractors and other non-employees. The January deadline only applies to those forms reporting non-employee compensation in box 7.
All 1099 and 1096 paper forms without entries in box 7 must be filed no later than February 28. Paper copies of form 8027, for reporting tip income and allocated tips, is also due on this date. Electronic copies of forms 1099, 1096, and 8027 are due by March 31.
The next thing to be concerned about is form 941, the employers quarterly federal tax return. The dates for those returns are: April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31. The IRS grants an automatic 10-day extension as long as all required taxes are deposited on time.
Payroll Tax Due Dates
When it comes to making your tax deposits for 2018, due dates depend on the deposit schedule that applies to your business. Monthly and semi-weekly deposit schedules are available, but each business is responsible for figuring out which schedule is appropriate. Schedules are based on total tax liabilities and the information entered on forms 941, 944, and 945.
As a general rule, monthly payers are required to make deposits by the 15th of the month for the previous month's taxes. So payroll taxes payable for the month of January would need to be deposited no later than February 15. Those deposits are reported quarterly.
Semi-weekly payers make deposits based on their scheduled payday. Employers who issue pay checks on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday must make tax deposits by the following Wednesday. Those who issue pay checks on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday must deposit taxes by the following Friday. In either case, deposits are reported quarterly.
If all this information seems complicated to you, rest assured that it is. This is one of the reasons we so strongly advocate for online payroll services or a complete, full service solution from BenefitMall. We are payroll professionals who make it our business to stay abreast of all tax dates.