Who needs to file Form 941? Filing Requirements

Generally, if you have employees working for you, Form 941 is mandatory to file but there are a few exceptions.

The use of Form 941 is simple and provides enough information to the IRS about taxes withheld from employee’s paychecks, wages and salary paid to them, and tips they’ve received along with the Medicare and Social Security taxes withheld. So, the information employers need to detail on Form 941 not only helps the IRS track the tax withholdings, but it also helps the agency to compare documents when there is an error.

Let’s say as an employer you made a mistake on one of your employer’s W-2 and need to make corrections. Both you and the IRS can look up your previous Forms 941 to correct the errors.

In almost all cases, even if you don’t have employees working for you but had at some point, Form 941 is mandatory to file. If you had employees but they are no longer a part of your business, you need to file a Form 941 for that quarter. However, for the future quarters where you don’t have employees working for you, Form 941 isn’t necessary. Again, this is only for the most cases. It is always to check with the IRS whether you need to complete a Quarterly Federal Tax Return or not.

Agricultural and Seasonal Employers

Form 941 isn’t necessary for seasonal employers that do not pay employee wages during any quarter. This also applies to household employees. Form 941 isn’t going to be effective when you have household employees. Instead, you must use Schedule H to report taxes withheld and income paid to household employees.

The same goes for agricultural employers. If you’re an agricultural employer, you must use Form 943 which is pretty much the same as Form 941 but for Agricultural Employees. The only difference between the Forms 941 and 943 is that while Form 941 is filed at the end of every quarter, Form 943 is filed annually.

From the links below, you can get both the Schedule H for Form 1040 and Form 943, the federal tax return for agricultural employees.

Schedule H for Form 1040 – IRS PDF

Form 943 – IRS PDF