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taxmap/pubs/p15-000.htm#en_us_publink1000202169
Publication 15

(Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide

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What's New(p1)


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2011 withholding tables.(p1)

This publication includes the 2011 Percentage Method Tables and Wage Bracket Tables for Income Tax Withholding that were developed as a result of the recently passed Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Employers should implement the 2011 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than January 31, 2011.
Use the 2010 withholding tables until you implement the 2011 withholding tables.
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Social security and Medicare tax for 2011.(p1)

For 2011, the employee tax rate for social security is 4.2%.
The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%. The 2011 social security wage base limit is $106,800. In 2011, the Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for employers and employees, unchanged from 2010. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.
Employers should implement the 4.2% employee social security tax rate as soon as possible, but not later than January 31, 2011. After implementing the new 4.2% rate, employers should make an offsetting adjustment in a subsequent pay period to correct any overwithholding of social security tax as soon as possible, but not later than March 31, 2011.
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,700 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,500 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation.
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Making Work Pay credit.(p2)

The Making Work Pay credit expires on December 31, 2010. As a result:
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COBRA premium assistance credit extended.(p2)

The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments has been extended. It now applies to premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months. See COBRA premium assistance credit on page 8.
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Advance payment of earned income credit (EIC).(p2)

The option of receiving advance payroll payments of EIC expires on December 31, 2010. Individuals who received advance payments of EIC in 2010 must file a 2010 federal income tax return. Individuals eligible for EIC in 2011 can still claim the credit when they file their 2011 federal income tax return. In addition, if any of your employees expect to be eligible for the EIC and will have income tax withheld from wages in 2011, they may reduce their withholding in order to receive the benefit of a portion of the credit throughout the year.
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Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer.(p2)

Beginning January 1, 2011, you must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax). Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used after December 31, 2010. Generally, electronic fund transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you do not want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on your behalf. Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a same-day tax wire payment on your behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of Treasury. Services provided by your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee.
For more information on making federal tax deposits, see How To Deposit on page 23. To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477. Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Publication 966, The Secure Way to Pay Your Federal Taxes.
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FUTA tax rate.(p2)

The FUTA tax rate will remain at 6.2% through June 30, 2011. The FUTA tax rate is scheduled to decrease to 6.0% beginning July 1, 2011. Visit IRS.gov for updated information.
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Withholding allowance.(p2)

The 2011 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $3,700.
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Aggregate Form 941 filers.(p2)

Agents must complete Schedule R (Form 941), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers, when filing an aggregate Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return. Aggregate Forms 941 may only be filed by agents approved by the IRS under section 3504 of the Internal Revenue Code. To request approval to act as an agent for an employer, the agent files Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent, with the IRS.
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Aggregate Form 940 filers.(p2)

Agents must complete Schedule R (Form 940), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 940 Filers, when filing an aggregate Form 940. Aggregate Forms 940 can be filed by agents acting on behalf of home care service recipients who receive home care services through a program administered by a federal, state, or local government. To request approval to act as an agent on behalf of home care service recipients, the agent files Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent, with the IRS.
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Employers can choose to file Forms 941 instead of Form 944.(p2)

If you previously were notified to file Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, but want to file quarterly Forms 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, to report your social security, Medicare and withheld federal income taxes, you must first contact the IRS to request to file Forms 941, rather than Form 944. See Rev. Proc. 2009-51, 2009-45 I.R.B 625, for the procedures for employers who previously were notified to file Form 944 to request to file Forms 941 instead. In addition, Rev. Proc. 2009-51 provides the procedures for employers to request to file Form 944. Rev. Proc. 2009-51 is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2009-45_IRB/ar12.html. Also see the Instructions for Form 944.
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Calendar(p2)

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The following is a list of important dates. Also see Publication 509, Tax Calendars.
Deposit
If any date shown below for filing a return, furnishing a form, or depositing taxes falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, use 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. However, a statewide legal holiday does not delay the due date of federal tax deposits. For any due date, you will meet the "file" or "furnish" requirement if the envelope containing the return or form is properly addressed, contains sufficient postage, and is postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the due date, or sent by an IRS-designated private delivery service on or before the due date. See Private Delivery Services on page 6 for more information.
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By January 31(p2)

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Furnish Forms 1099 and W-2.(p2)

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Furnish each employee a completed Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Furnish each other payee a completed Form 1099 (for example, Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income).
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File Form 941 or Form 944.(p2)

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File Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, for the fourth quarter of the previous calendar year and deposit any undeposited income, social security, and Medicare taxes. You may pay these taxes with Form 941 if your total tax liability for the quarter is less than $2,500. File Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, for the previous calendar year instead of Form 941 if the IRS has notified you in writing to file Form 944 and pay any undeposited income, social security, and Medicare taxes. You may pay these taxes with Form 944 if your total tax liability for the year is less than $2,500. For additional rules on when you can pay your taxes with your return, see Payment with return on page 20. If you timely deposited all taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days from January 31 to file the appropriate return.
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File Form 940.(p3)

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File Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. However, if you deposited all of the FUTA tax when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
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File Form 945.(p3)

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File Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, to report any nonpayroll income tax withheld in 2010. If you deposited all taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file. See Nonpayroll Income Tax Withholding on page 5 for more information.
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By February 15(p3)

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Request a new Form W-4 from exempt employees.(p3)

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Ask for a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, from each employee who claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year.
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On February 16(p3)

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Forms W-4 claiming exemption from withholding expire.(p3)

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Any Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding for the previous year has now expired. Begin withholding for any employee who previously claimed exemption from withholding but has not given you a new Form W-4 for the current year. If the employee does not give you a new Form W-4, withhold tax based on the last valid Form W-4 you have for the employee that does not claim exemption from withholding or, if one does not exist, as if he or she is single with zero withholding allowances. See section 9 for more information. If the employee furnishes a new Form W-4 claiming exemption from withholding after February 15, you may apply the exemption to future wages, but do not refund taxes withheld while the exempt status was not in place.
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By February 28(p3)

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File paper Forms 1099 and 1096.(p3)

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File Copy A of all paper Forms 1099 with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, with the IRS. For electronically filed returns, see March 31 below.
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File paper Forms W-2 and W-3.(p3)

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File Copy A of all paper Forms W-2 with Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration (SSA). For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 below.
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File paper Form 8027.(p3)

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File paper Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, with the IRS. See section 6. For electronically filed returns, see By March 31 next.
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By March 31(p3)

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File electronic Forms 1099, 8027, and W-2.(p3)

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File electronic Forms 1099 and 8027 with the IRS. File electronic Forms W-2 with the SSA. For information on reporting Form W-2 information to the SSA electronically, visit the Social Security Administration's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information webpage at  
www.socialsecurity.gov/employer. For information on filing information returns electronically with the IRS, see Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Forms 1097-BTC, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically, and Publication 1239, Specifications for Filing Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips Electronically.
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By April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31(p3)

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Deposit FUTA taxes.(p3)

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Deposit federal unemployment (FUTA) tax due if it is more than $500.
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File Form 941.(p3)

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File Form 941 and deposit any undeposited income, social security, and Medicare taxes. You may pay these taxes with Form 941 if your total tax liability for the quarter is less than $2,500. If you timely deposited all taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days from the due dates above to file the return.
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Before December 1(p3)

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New Forms W-4.(p3)

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Remind employees to submit a new Form W-4 if their marital status or withholding allowances have changed or will change for the next year.