Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
This publication reflects changes included in the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104943
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) income taxes.(p1)
The U.S. Treasury Department and the (CNMI) Division of Revenue and Taxation entered into a new agreement under 5 USC 5517 in December 2006. Under this agreement, all federal employers with personnel resident in CNMI (including the Department of Defense) are required to withhold CNMI income taxes (rather than federal income taxes) and deposit the CNMI taxes with the CNMI Treasury. Federal employers are also required to file quarterly and annual reports with the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation. For questions, contact the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation. taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000191620
COBRA premium assistance credit.(p1)
ARRA allows a credit against employment taxes for providing COBRA premium assistance for certain involuntarily terminated employees once the employees' 35% share of the premiums has been paid. See COBRA premium assistance credit
on page 8 of the May 2009 revision of Publication 15 (Circular E). You can get Circular E at www.irs.gov
FUTA tax rate for 2009.(p2)
The 6.2% FUTA tax rate, which was scheduled to decrease to 6.0% after 2008, has been extended through calendar year 2009.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104945
New employment tax adjustment and claim for refund processes in 2009.(p2)
If you discover an error on a previously filed Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, or Form 944-SS, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, after December 31, 2008, make the correction using, respectively, Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, or Form 944-X, Adjusted Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund. For errors discovered before January 1, 2009, employers make corrections to Form 941-SS or Form 944-SS by attaching Form 941c, Supporting Statement to Correct Information, to their current quarterly Form 941-SS or annual Form 944-SS. Forms 941-X and 944-X are stand-alone forms that will allow employers to correct errors immediately after the errors are discovered. Employers will no longer have to wait until the end of a tax period to make corrections by filing Form 941c with Form 941 or Form 944. All prior period adjustment lines will be deleted from the 2009 Forms 941-SS and 944-SS. Similarly, if you discover an error on a previously filed Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, after December 31, 2008, make the correction using Form 943-X, Adjusted Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees. See Reporting Corrections to Form 941-SS, Form 944-SS, or Form 943, on page 14 for details.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104946
Social security and Medicare taxes for 2009.(p2)
Do not withhold social security tax after an employee reaches $106,800 in social security wages. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,700 or more in cash. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,500 or more.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104948
Annual employment tax filing for certain employers.(p2)
Certain employers may have to file Form 944-SS, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, instead of the Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return. For details, see the Instructions for Form 944-SS.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104949
Change of address.(p2)
If you changed your business mailing address or business location, notify the IRS by filing Form 8822, Change of Address. Do not mail Form 8822 with your employment tax return.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104950
Credit card payments.(p2)
You can pay the balance due shown on Form 944-SS, Forms 941-SS, Form 943, or Form 940 by credit card. Contact Official Payments Corporation at 1-800-272-9829, or visit www.officialpayments.com
to make your payment by credit card. You may also contact Link2Gov Corporation at 1-888-658-5465, or visit their website at www.pay1040.com
. A convenience fee will be charged for this service. However, do not use a credit card to pay federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes with a credit card, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov
and type "e-pay" in the search box.
Electronic filing and payment.(p2)
Using electronic options can make filing a return and paying your federal tax easier. Use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to make deposits or pay in full, whether you rely on a tax professional or prepare your own taxes. You can use IRS e-file
to file certain returns. If there is a balance due on the return, you can e-file and e-pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from your bank account while e-filing. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov
for more information on filing electronically.
- For e-file, visit www.irs.gov for additional information.
- For EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (U.S. Virgin Islands only) or 303-967-5916 (toll call).
- For electronic filing of Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, W-3SS, and W-2c, visit
Hiring new employees.(p2)
Record the number and name from each new employee's social security card. An employee who does not have a social security card should apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 3.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104953
Private delivery services.(p2)
You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to send tax returns or payments. The list includes only the following:
- DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service, DHL Next Day 10:30 am, DHL Next Day 12:00 pm, DHL Next Day 3:00 pm, and DHL 2nd Day Service.
- Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.
- United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
Your private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.
Keep all records of employment taxes for four years. These should be available for IRS review.
There is no required format for such records, but they should include your EIN; the amounts and dates of all wage payments (including fringe benefits) and tips reported; the names, addresses, and occupations of employees receiving such payments and their social security numbers; copies of returns filed; dates of employment; and the dates and amounts of deposits made in accordance with section 8. Farm employers must keep a record of the name, permanent address, and EIN of each crew leader. See Farm Crew Leaders on page 5.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104956
Reporting discrepancies between Forms 941-SS or Forms 944-SS and Forms W-2.(p2)
Use Schedule D (Form 941) to explain certain wage, tax, and payment discrepancies between Forms 941-SS (or Forms 944-SS), and Forms W-2 that were caused by acquisitions, statutory mergers, or consolidations. For more information, get the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 941).taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104957
Web-based application for an EIN.(p3)
You can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov/smallbiz
Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate.(p3)
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.
You can contact TAS by calling toll-free 1-877-777-4778 (U.S. Virgin Islands only) or TTY/TTD 1-800-829-4059 to see if you are eligible for assistance. You can also call or write to your local taxpayer advocate, whose phone number and address are listed in your local telephone directory and in Publication 1546, The Taxpayer Advocate Service, Your Voice at the IRS. You can file Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), or ask an IRS employee to complete it on your behalf. For more information, go to www.irs.gov/advocate
You can call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 (U.S. Virgin Islands only) or 215-516-2000 (toll call), for federal employment tax information, including assistance with completing Form 941-SS (or Form 944-SS). Call 1-800-829-4059 if you are a TTY/TDD user. All employers can get in-depth information about payroll tax topics by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov
and clicking on the "Businesses" tab.
For a complete listing of free IRS tax services, get Publication 910, IRS Guide To Free Tax Services. See How To Get Forms and Publications on page 4 for ordering information.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104960
Photographs of missing children.(p3)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
The following are important dates and responsibilities. Also see Publication 509, Tax Calendars for 2009.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104962
By January 31(p3)
- Furnish wage and tax statements to employees. Give each employee a completed Form W-2AS, W-2CM , W-2GU , or Form W-2VI. See section 10.
- File Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, with the Internal Revenue Service. If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
- U.S. Virgin Islands employers only must file Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Pay or deposit (if more than $500) any balance of the tax due. If you deposited the full amount of taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
- File Form 944-SS, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), with the Internal Revenue Service if you were notified by the Internal Revenue Service to file Form 944-SS instead of quarterly Forms 941-SS. If you deposited the full amount of taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
By March 2(p3)
File wage and tax statements with the Social Security Administration (SSA). File Copy A of Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or Form W-2VI, and Form W-3SS, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration (SSA). For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 below.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104964
By March 31(p3)
File electronic Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or Form W-2VI with the SSA. You cannot file electronically using W-2 Online; however, you can transmit an electronic file over the Internet through SSA's Business Service Online (BSO) upload feature. See Social Security's Employer Reporting Instructions and Information website at www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm
for more information.
By April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31(p3)
File Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), with the Internal Revenue Service. If you deposited the full amount of taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file. Do not file Forms 941-SS for these quarters if you have been instructed to file Form 944-SS.
Deposit FUTA tax for the quarter (including any amount carried over from other quarters) if over $500. If $500 or less, carry it over to the next quarter. See section 11.
If any date shown above for filing a return, furnishing a form, or depositing taxes falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the next business day. A statewide legal holiday delays a filing due date only if the IRS office where you are required to file is located in that state. For any due date, you will meet the "file" or "furnish" requirement if the form is properly addressed and mailed First-Class or sent by an IRS-designated delivery service on or before the due date. See Private delivery services on page 2.
This publication is for employers whose principal place of business is in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or who have employees who are subject to income tax withholding for any of these jurisdictions. Employers and employees in these areas are generally subject to social security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). This publication summarizes employer responsibilities to collect, pay, and report these taxes.
Whenever the term "United States" is used in this publication, it includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
This publication also provides employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands with a summary of their responsibilities in connection with the tax under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, known as FUTA tax. See section 11.
Except as shown in the table in section 12, social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes apply to every employer who pays taxable wages to employees or who has employees who report tips.
This publication does not include information relating to the self-employment tax (for social security and Medicare of self-employed persons). See Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, if you need this information.
This publication also does not include information relating to income tax withholding. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, contact your local tax department for information about income tax withholding. See Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, for information on U.S. federal income tax withholding.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104968
For federal employment tax information, employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands may call 1-800-829-4933 (toll free). All others may call 215-516-2000 (toll call). If you are in the U.S. Virgin Islands and have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 with your tax question or to order forms and publications.
If you are an employer in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, contact the Division of Revenue and Taxation at 670-664-1000 to get Form W-2CM and the instructions for completing and filing that form.taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104969
You can access the IRS website at www.irs.gov
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to:
- E-file your return. Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services.
- Download forms, instructions, and publications.
- Order IRS products online.
- Research your tax questions online.
- Search publications online by topic or keyword.
- View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years.
- Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.
- Get information on starting and operating a small business.
U.S. Virgin Islands employers can order forms and publications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll free, by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Others may call 215-516-2000 (toll call).taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000104972
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *email@example.com
. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.