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Download 941 Form 2021: A Step-by-Step Guide for Employers


How to Download Form 941 for 2021: A Complete Guide




If you are an employer who pays wages to employees, you need to file Form 941 every quarter to report your federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax withholding and payments. In this article, we will show you how to download Form 941 for 2021, how to fill it out, and how to submit it to the IRS. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about Form 941.


What is Form 941 and who needs to file it?




Form 941, also known as Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is a form that employers use to report their federal payroll taxes. These taxes include:




download 941 form 2021



  • Income tax withheld from employees' wages, tips, and other compensation



  • Social Security tax (6.2% each for employer and employee) and Medicare tax (1.45% each for employer and employee) on taxable wages and tips



  • Additional Medicare Tax (0.9%) withheld from employees' wages that exceed $200,000 in a calendar year



  • Employer's share of Social Security tax and Medicare tax on qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)



  • Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claimed by employers who retained employees during the COVID-19 crisis



  • Credit for qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid under the FFCRA



  • Credit for COBRA premium assistance payments made under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA)



Most employers are required to file Form 941 every quarter, unless they are eligible to file Form 944 (Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return) or Form 943 (Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees). You can find out if you qualify for these forms on the IRS website.


Form 941 basics




Form 941 consists of five parts and two schedules. Here is a brief overview of each part and schedule:


  • Part 1: Answer questions about your business and employees, such as your employer identification number (EIN), name, address, number of employees, wages, tips, and other compensation, federal income tax withheld, taxable Social Security and Medicare wages and tips, total taxes before adjustments, current quarter's adjustments, total taxes after adjustments, total deposits for the quarter, balance due or overpayment, and refund or credit options.



  • Part 2: Report your tax liability by month if your total taxes after adjustments (line 10) are less than $2,500 or you are a monthly schedule depositor. If you are a semiweekly schedule depositor or accumulated $100,000 or more of taxes on any day during the quarter, report your tax liability by semiweekly period on Schedule B (Form 941).



  • Part 3: Report your tax liability for the quarter if you are a seasonal employer or a new employer who did not have any employees during some of the months in the quarter.



  • Part 4: Claim any credits or adjustments that apply to you , such as the ERC, the FFCRA credits, the COBRA credit, the credit for federal tax paid on fuels, and the sick pay exclusion. You may need to attach Form 8974 (Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities) or Form 5884-C (Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans) if you are claiming these credits.



  • Part 5: Provide information about a third-party designee who can discuss your Form 941 with the IRS and sign your form under penalties of perjury.



  • Schedule A (Form 941): Report your total liability for the quarter and any qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities. You must complete this schedule if you are claiming the ERC, the FFCRA credits, or the COBRA credit, or if you are a semiweekly schedule depositor or accumulated $100,000 or more of taxes on any day during the quarter.



  • Schedule B (Form 941): Report your tax liability by semiweekly period. You must complete this schedule if you are a semiweekly schedule depositor or accumulated $100,000 or more of taxes on any day during the quarter.



Form 941 filing deadlines




You must file Form 941 by the last day of the month that follows the end of the quarter. For example, for the first quarter of 2021 (January to March), you must file Form 941 by April 30, 2021. Here are the filing deadlines for each quarter of 2021:


QuarterMonthsDeadline


FirstJanuary to MarchApril 30, 2021


SecondApril to JuneAugust 2, 2021


ThirdJuly to SeptemberNovember 1, 2021


FourthOctober to DecemberJanuary 31, 2022


If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you can file on the next business day.


Form 941 penalties




If you fail to file Form 941 on time or pay your taxes in full, you may face penalties from the IRS. The penalties are based on the amount of tax owed and the number of days late. Here are some common penalties that may apply to you:


  • Late filing penalty: The penalty is 5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month that your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%. If your return is more than 60 days late, you will also pay a minimum penalty of $435 or the balance of the tax due on your return, whichever is less.



  • Late payment penalty: The penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month that your payment is late, up to a maximum of 25%. The penalty increases to 1% per month if your payment is still unpaid after 10 days following a notice of intent to levy. The penalty increases to 2% per month if your payment is still unpaid after receiving notice and demand for immediate payment from the IRS.



  • Late deposit penalty: The penalty varies depending on how many days late your deposit is and whether you made arrangements to pay by the due date. The penalty rates are as follows:



  • 2% - Deposits made 1 to 5 days late



  • 5% - Deposits made 6 to 15 days late



  • 10% - Deposits made more than 15 days late or within 10 days of receiving notice and demand for payment from the IRS



  • 15% - Deposits not made or paid directly to an IRS employee or agent after receiving notice and demand for payment from the IRS



  • Failure to deposit penalty: The penalty is 10% of the amount of tax due if you fail to use electronic funds transfer (EFT) to make a deposit when required. You must use EFT to make all federal tax deposits unless your total deposits for a calendar year are less than $2,500.



  • Dishonored payment penalty: The penalty is 2% of the amount of tax due if your check or other form of payment is dishonored by your financial institution due to insufficient funds or other reasons. The penalty is limited to $1,270 for payments of $1,250 or more .



You can avoid or reduce these penalties by filing and paying on time, requesting an extension of time to file, or applying for an installment agreement if you cannot pay in full. You can also request a penalty abatement if you have reasonable cause for your failure to file or pay.


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Tips for downloading and filling out the Form.


How to download Form 941 for 2021




There are three ways you can download Form 941 for 2021: from the IRS website, from a tax software, or from a payroll service provider. Here are the steps for each method:


Download Form 941 from the IRS website




The easiest way to download Form 941 for 2021 is to visit the IRS website and download the PDF file of the form. You can also download the instructions and schedules for Form 941 from the same page. You can print the form and fill it out by hand, or you can fill it out on your computer using a PDF reader software. If you choose to fill it out on your computer, make sure you save a copy of the completed form before printing it.


Download Form 941 from a tax software




Another way to download Form 941 for 2021 is to use a tax software that supports Form 941. Some examples of tax software that offer this feature are TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct. You can sign up for a free or paid account with these software and access Form 941 online. The software will guide you through the process of filling out the form and will perform calculations and error checks for you. You can also e-file your Form 941 through the software if you have an EIN and a PIN from the IRS.


Download Form 941 from a payroll service provider




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