Form 941 is the IRS Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return form. It must be filed quarterly by most businesses with employees and is used to report and pay payroll and income taxes. Payroll taxes reported on Form 941 include Social Security and Medicare taxes.

What is Reported on Form 941?

Form 941 is used to report business income and payroll taxes on a quarterly basis. You must report the total amount your business paid in wages and tips as well as the amount your business withheld from employees’ paychecks for their income taxes. You must also report the employer and employee portions of Medicare and Social Security taxes. 

The withholdings you report on each quarter’s Form 941 should add up to the totals you report on all of your employees’ W-2 forms at the end of the year. 

Typically, businesses must submit payments for the reported taxes along with Form 941.

Do You Need to File Form 941?

Most businesses that pay wages to one or more employees at any point during a calendar year need to file Form 941. This includes S-corporations that only have a single employee. Businesses typically need to file Form 941 every quarter, even if there are quarters in which they have no employees.

There are a few situations in which businesses are exempt from filing Form 941.

  • Individuals with household employees like a housekeeper report payments using an individual tax return (Form 1040) instead.
  • Agricultural employers use Form 943 instead of Form 941.
  • Employers with seasonal employees may fill out Form 941 only during the quarters in which they pay wages.

When is Form 941 Due?

Form 941 must be filed quarterly. The form is typically due one month after the last day of the quarter being reported. Included below are the dates when Form 941 is due.

  • April 30
  • July 31
  • October 31
  • January 31

Quarterly tax payments are due on the same dates. 

Note that most quarterly payments for federal unemployment taxes—which are not reported on Form 941—must also be paid by these dates. Many businesses choose to calculate and pay their unemployment taxes when filling out Form 941 since similar information is required. Unemployment taxes are reported annually using Form 940.

It’s important to file Form 941 on time. For each month or part of a month your return is late, the IRS may charge a penalty of 5% of the tax due up to a maximum of 25%. If your business pays the taxes you owe late or underpays, you may be charged an additional penalty of 2% to 15% of your underpayment.

How to Fill Out Form 941

Filling out 941 requires you to collect details about your payroll and income for the prior quarter. The form is three pages long and has five parts.

To begin, fill in your employer identification number (EIN), your business’s name, your name, and your business’s address.

Part 1

Enter the number of employees your business had last quarter, the total your business paid in wages and tips, and the total amount withheld from employees for federal income tax.

Calculate the total amount owed for Social Security and Medicare taxes—including both employee and employer portions—and the amount owed for additional Medicare tax. Add any adjustments for sick pay and group life insurance policies, then calculate your total tax. 

Part 2

Determine whether your business is a monthly or semi-weekly depositor. Semi-weekly depositors are typically businesses with more than $50,000 in tax liability for the quarter and must fill out Form 941 Schedule B.

Part 3

If applicable, fill out information regarding whether your business has closed, whether you stopped paying wages, or whether your business is a seasonal employer that does not have to file Form 941 each quarter.

Part 4

If you wish for the IRS to be able to speak with your accountant or tax preparer about this return, indicate so and provide their contact information.

Part 5

Sign and date the form. Form 941 may be filed online or through the mail.


IRS Form 941 is used to report and pay employees’ federal income tax and employee and employer Medicare and Social Security taxes. It must be filed quarterly by most businesses with employees.

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