Form 944 to Simplify Tax Filing for Small Business Owners

Form 944Form 944 is a great step to reduce the compliance burden for the smallest employers. As you must be aware that an employer is required to withhold taxes from employee wages, then file and deposit the payroll taxes. After that, company employer is required to file quarterly federal payroll and income taxes. Now, very small businesses (read employers) can file FORM 944 just once a year and save themselves from year-rounded compliance burden under Internal Revenue Code.  You will see that the Form 944  , a simplified employers annual tax return , indeed asking for very little details as under:

  • Employer Identification Number
  • Employer contact information
  • Employee wages, tips, and other compensation
  • Federal income tax withheld
  • Taxable Social Security and Medicare wages
  • Adjustments
  • Deposit information

Who are considered  Small Employers for Form 944 ?

Small employers who can opt for Form 944 are those whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less.

What is deadline for Form 944?

As per IRS rule, Form 944 is  due once a year, by January 31, after the end of the calendar year. If you made timely deposits in full payment of your taxes by January 31, you have 10 additional calendar days to file your Form 944.

What to do if You want to use Form 944?

If you have been filing Form 941 and now you think you are eligible for filing form 944, you must contact the IRS to request to file Form 944 rather than Form 941 by April 1 of the current year. Contact them in any of the following ways

  • Request IRS by calling at 1-800-829-4933 by April 1 of the current year, or
  • by sending a written request, postmarked by March 15 of the current year, to:

Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
Ogden, UT 84201-0038

or

Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0038.

Please note that if you do not receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944, then you must file Forms 941 for the current calendar year.

IRS Notified You For 944 but You want to File Form 941

If IRS notified you to file Form 944, you need to that form only . However , you can request IRS, in same way as written above for Form 944 request, for a written notice to file Form 941. If they give you written notice to file in Form 941 , in that case only you are supposed to file Form 944.The IRS will send you a written notice that your filing requirement has been changed. If you do not receive this notice, you must file Form 944 for the current calendar year. See Rev. Proc. 2009-51, 2009-45 I.R.B. 625, for additional information.

In other words, it is written notice of IRS that is benchmark for type of form- 941 or 944 – you need to file.

New business or employer ? Can’t opt for Form 944 on your own

Even if you have just started business or very first year as an employer , you can not file Form 944 unless you receive written notification from IRS that you are eligible to do so. So, for receiving the notification ,if you are a new employer, you must call the IRS, at the number listed above, on or before the first day of the month that the first required Form 941 for the current year is due to request to file Form 944 rather than Form 941.

 

What is the time of  payment of employment taxes?

You may pay once a year when you file your return if your liability is less than $ 2500. If your liability for taxes (social security & others) is $2,500 or more, you should deposit deposit the taxes instead of paying them at the time of filing Form 944.

 

You can get Form 944 & Instruction from this IRS page

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