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"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Menken
[excerpted from 1995 Social Security Admin. material]
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH
o Determine new o Match Form 941/942/ o Reply promptly
Social Security and 943 totals with to any SSA
wage base to be payroll records and notice that
used for the Form W-3 totals W-2 totals for
current year (see page 18) and a year disagree
with IRS Form 941
o File 941 or o File W-2/W-3 wage /942/943 totals
942 with IRS for reports with SSA
last quarter of
last year o Employers with more o Respond timely
than 10 employees to SSA's
o File 943 with must file Form 8027 request for
IRS for last for their employees corrections to
year who receive tips W-2 identity data
o Give employees o Withhold at single
their copies of rate with no depend-
Form W-2 ents if new Form W-4
not filed as required
by employees claiming
no tax liability.
APRIL MAY JUNE
o File Form 941 or 942 with IRS
JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER
o File Form 941 or 942 with IRS
OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
o File Form 941 or o Test magnetic media o Ask employees
942 with IRS or paper forms to update
processes for next Forms W-4
o Order W-2 and W-3 o Request new TIB-4 Allowance
forms (if needed) instructions from SSA Certificate)
for next year or IRS Pub. 393 if and W-5
not yet received (Earned Income
o Verify names and Credit
Social Security Advanced
numbers for all Payment
o Withholding and Depositing Taxes
Employers must withhold income and employment taxes and deposit them throughout the year in accordance with the schedule in IRS Publication No. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. That schedule calls for monthly, semiweekly or more frequent deposits depending, in general, on how large your past tax liability was.
Tax deposits are made at Federal Reserve Banks or other specially designated depositories. These deposits should be made only with Form 8109, "Federal Tax Deposit Coupon". An initial supply of these deposit forms are provided when you file for an employer identification number. Additional forms are provided by IRS automatically thereafter.
o Filing Quarterly Form 941 Returns With IRS
By the end of the month following each calendar quarter, you must file Form 941, with IRS, unless you:
(1) Employ only household workers (then you must file Form 942),
(2) File a special version of Form 941 required by IRS rules (Form 941-PR for filers in Puerto Rico, for example) or
(3) Employ agricultural workers (then you must file Form 943 at the end of the year).
IRS matches Form 941, 942 and 943 data to tax payments to ensure accuracy. After employer W-2 wage reports for the year are processed by SSA, the wage report data is matched to IRS Form 941 data. Differences between the wages reported and the taxes reported are reconciled by contacting employers for an explanation of the discrepancy and additional evidence. Failure to respond to these contacts can result in IRS penalty assessments.
o End-of-Year Preparation for Wage Reporting
The last quarter of the year begins the wage reporting "season"--the time to prepare for filing end-of-the year reports for the tax year.
By October you should order wage reporting Forms W-3 and W-2, if needed, from IRS or your forms supplier. Transmittal forms for magnetic media (Forms 6559 and 6559A) can also be ordered from IRS. The IRS forms request telephone number is 1-800- 829-3676.
By November you should receive IRS Publication 393, "Federal Employment Tax Forms". This publication includes Form W-3, two Form W-2 sets, a gummed label showing employer's name, address, and employer identification number to identify the wage return, and an order blank for requesting additional forms and instructions.
By November, if you file reports on magnetic media, SSA will mail you its Technical Instruction Bulletin No. 4 (TIB-4). This booklet contains specifications and edits for filing wage reports on magnetic tape, cartridge, or diskettes, a gummed label to identify the wage report and a Form 6559 magnetic media transmittal sheet. If you have not received a TIB-4 by mid-November, call the Regional Wage Reporting Specialist for your area (see page 26). The TIB-4 can also be downloaded to your computer via a modem from SSA's Employer Information Bulletin Board Service (EIBBS) at 410-965-1133.
o Updating Withholding Forms
Before December 1st, you should advise your employees to update their withholding forms, if necessary. All employees should be reminded to file a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, if a change in withholding should be made. When completion of these forms shows the employee has had a recent change of name, you should advise him or her to report the name change to SSA and obtain a corrected Social Security card. Employees should be told that their Social Security cards should be kept up-to-date to show the names they use for employment purposes. To continue receiving advance payments of earned income credits, employees must file a new Form W-5, "Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate" with the employer.
By February 15th, employees who claimed exemption from any Federal income tax withholding for the past year should file a new Form W-4 to continue exemption into this year.
By February 16th, begin withholding at the single person rate with zero withholding allowances for employees who previously claimed exemption from any withholding but failed to file a new Form W-4 timely.
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