skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help

Topic Index
ABCDEFGHI
JKLMNOPQR
STUVWXYZ#

FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics

Comments
About Tax Map

IRS.gov Website
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195425
Publication 51

(Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

rule

What's New(p1)


taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264469
Future developments.(p1)
The IRS has created a page on IRS.gov for information about Publication 51, at
www.irs.gov/pub51. Information about any future developments impacting Publication 51 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000255111
Social security and Medicare tax for 2012.(p1)
The employee tax rate for social security is 4.2% on wages paid and tips received before March 1, 2012. The employee tax rate for social security increases to 6.2% on wages paid and tips received after February 29, 2012. The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%. The social security wage base limit is $110,100. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2011. 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, 2012. After implementing the 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, 2012.
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,800 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.
EIC
At the time this publication was prepared for release, the rate for the employee’s share of social security tax was 4.2% and scheduled to increase to 6.2% for wages paid after February 29, 2012. However, Congress was discussing an extension of the 4.2% employee tax rate for social security beyond February 29, 2012. Check for updates at www.irs.gov/pub51.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264470
Compensation paid to H-2A foreign agricultural workers.(p2)
Compensation of $600 or more paid to foreign agricultural workers who entered the country on H-2A visas should be reported in box 1 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Compensation paid to H-2A workers for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes, and therefore should not be reported as wages subject to social security tax (line 2) or Medicare tax (line 4) on Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and should not be reported as social security wages (box 3) or Medicare wages (box 5) on Form W-2.
An employer is not required to withhold federal income tax from compensation it pays an H-2A worker for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa unless the worker asks for withholding and the employer agrees. In that case, the worker must give the employer a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Federal income tax withheld should be reported on Form 943 (line 6) and in box 2 of Form W-2. These reporting rules apply when the H-2A worker provides his or her taxpayer identification number (TIN) to the employer. For the rules relating to backup withholding and reporting when the H-2A worker does not provide a TIN, see the Instructions for Form 1099-MISC and the Instructions for Form 945.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000266562
VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.(p2)
On November 21, 2011, the President signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. This new law provides an expanded work opportunity tax credit to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and for the first time also makes part of the credit available to tax-exempt organizations. Businesses claim the credit as part of the general business credit and tax-exempt organizations claim it against their payroll tax liability. The credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2013. More information about the credit against a tax-exempt organization’s payroll tax liability will be available early in 2012 at
www.irs.gov/form5884c.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000266726
FUTA tax rate.(p2)
The FUTA tax rate is 6.0% for 2012.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000255142
Withholding allowance.(p2)
The 2012 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $3,800.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195454
Change of address.(p2)
Beginning in 2012, employers must use new Form 8822-B, Change of Address—Business, for any address change.

Reminders(p2)


taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000240878
COBRA premium assistance credit.(p2)
The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments 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. For more information, see COBRA premium assistance credit under Introduction.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000255139
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer.(p2)
You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. 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 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 in section 7. 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.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195453
Additional employment tax information.(p2)
Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and select the "Employment Taxes" link for a list of employment tax topics. For employment tax information by telephone, call 1-800-829-4933 (TTY/TDD users call 1-800-829-4059); or call IRS TeleTax at 1-800-829-4477 for recorded information by topic.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000236422
Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs).(p2)
The IRS has published final Regulations section 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv) under which QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities are treated as separate entities for employment tax purposes. For more information, see Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000236423
Differential wage payments.(p2)
Qualified differential wage payments made by employers to individuals serving in the Armed Forces after 2008 are subject to income tax withholding but not social security, Medicare, or Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes. For more information, see Publication 15 (Circular E).
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000253455
Electronic payment.(p3)
Now, more than ever before, businesses can enjoy the benefits of paying their taxes electronically. Whether you rely on a tax professional or handle your own taxes, the IRS offers you convenient programs to make it easier.
Spend less time and worry on taxes and more time running your business. Use Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to your benefit.
For EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 (business) or 1-800-316-6541 (individual).
Use the electronic options available from IRS and make filing and paying taxes easier. For more information, see Publication 966.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195457
Credit and debit card payments.(p3)
Employers can pay the balance due shown on Form 943 by credit or debit card. Do not use a credit or debit card to make federal tax deposits. For more information on paying your taxes with a credit or debit card, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/e-pay.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195458
When you hire a new employee.(p3)
Ask each new employee to complete the 2012 Form W-4 or its Spanish version, Formulario W-4(SP), Certificado de Exención de Retenciones del Empleado. Also, ask the employee to show you his or her social security card so that you can record the employee's name and social security number accurately. If the employee has lost the card or recently changed names, have the employee apply for a duplicate or corrected card. If the employee does not have a card, have the employee apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 1 for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195459
Eligibility for employment.(p3)
You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. This includes completing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. You can get the form from USCIS offices or by calling 1-800-870-3676. Contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283, or visit the USCIS website at
www.uscis.gov for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195460
New hire reporting.(p3)
You are required to report any new employee to a designated state new-hire registry. Many states accept a copy of Form W-4 with employer information added. Call the Office of Child Support Enforcement at 202-401-9267 (not toll free), or visit its website at
www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/newhire for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195461
Forms in Spanish.(p3)
You can provide Formulario W-4(SP) in place of Form W-4 to your Spanish-speaking employees. For more information, see Publicación 17(SP), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos (Para Personas Físicas).
For nonemployees, Formulario W-9(SP), Solicitud y Certificación del Número de Identificación del Contribuyente, may be used in place of Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
References in this publication to Form W-4 or Form W-9 also apply to their equivalent Spanish translations—Formulario W-4(SP) or Formulario W-9(SP).
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195462
Information returns.(p3)
You may be required to file information returns to report certain types of payments made during the year. For example, you must file Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to report payments of $600 or more to persons not treated as employees (for example, independent contractors) for services performed for your trade or business. For details about filing Forms 1099 and for information about required electronic filing, see the 2012 General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for general information and the separate, specific instructions for each information return that you file (for example, 2012 Instructions for Form 1099-MISC). Do not use Forms 1099 to report wages or other compensation that you paid to employees; report these amounts on
Form W-2.
See the separate Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 for details about filing Forms W-2 and for information about required electronic filing. If you file 250 or more Forms W-2, you must file them electronically. SSA will not accept Forms W-2 and W-3 filed on any magnetic media.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195464
Information reporting customer service site.(p3)
The IRS operates the Enterprise Computing Center—Martinsburg, a centralized customer service call site, to answer questions about reporting on Forms W-2, W-3, 1099, and other information returns. If you have questions related to reporting on information returns, you may call 1-866-455-7438 (toll free) or 304-263-8700 (not toll free). Hearing-impaired individuals may use the TTY/TDD service at 304-267-3367 (not toll free). The call site can also be reached by email at
mccirp@irs.gov.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195467
Web-based application for an employer identification number (EIN).(p3)
You can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online by visiting IRS.gov and clicking on the Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online link.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195468
When a crew leader furnishes workers to you.(p3)
Record the crew leader's name, address, and EIN. See sections 2 and 10.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195469
Taxpayer Advocate Service.(p3)
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. We offer free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own. Remember, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.
TAS can help if you can’t resolve your problem with the IRS and:
  • Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business.
  • You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action.
  • You have tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS has not responded to you by the date promised.
If you qualify for our help, we’ll do everything we can to get your problem resolved. You will be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Although TAS is independent within the IRS, our advocates know how to work with the IRS to get your problems resolved. And our services are always free.
As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must abide by in its dealings with you. Our tax toolkit at
www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov can help you understand these rights.
If you think TAS might be able to help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your phone book and on our website at www.irs.gov/advocate. You can also call our toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778.
TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System at www.irs.gov/advocate.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000253456
Ordering forms and publications.(p4)
See Quick and Easy Access to IRS Tax Help and Tax Products at the end of this publication. You can order your 2011 and 2012 employment tax and information return forms, instructions, and publications online at www.irs.gov/businesses. Select "Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns." You can also visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download other forms and publications.
Instead of ordering paper Forms W-2 and W-3, consider filing them electronically using the Social Security Administration's (SSA) free e-file service. Visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at
www.socialsecurity.gov/employer, select "Electronically File Your W-2s," and provide registration information. You will be able to create and file "fill-in" versions of Forms W-2 with SSA and can print out completed copies of Forms W-2 for filing with state and local governments, distribution to your employees, and for your records. Form W-3 will be created for you based on your Forms W-2.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000253580
Tax Questions.(p4)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-4933 (businesses) or 1-800-829-1040 (individuals). We cannot answer tax questions sent to the address provided later for comments and suggestions.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264460
Recordkeeping.(p4)
Keep all records of employment taxes for at least 4 years. These should be available for IRS review. Your records should include:
  • Your employer identification number (EIN),
  • Amounts and dates of all wage, annuity, and pension payments,
  • Names, addresses, social security numbers, and occupations of employees and recipients,
  • Any employee copies of Forms W-2 and W-2c returned to you as undeliverable,
  • Dates of employment for each employee,
  • Periods for which employees and recipients were paid while absent due to sickness or injury and the amount and weekly rate of payments you or third-party payers made to them,
  • Copies of employees' and recipients' income tax withholding allowance certificates (Forms W-4, W-4(SP), W-4P, and W-4S),
  • Dates and amounts of tax deposits you made and acknowledgment numbers for deposits made by EFTPS,
  • Copies of returns filed and confirmation numbers, and
  • Records of fringe benefits and expense reimbursements provided to your employees, including substantiation.
If a crew leader furnished you with farmworkers, you must keep a record of the name, permanent mailing address, and EIN of the crew leader. If the crew leader has no permanent mailing address, record his or her present address.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264461
Private delivery services.(p4)
You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to send tax returns and payments. The list includes only the following.
  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same 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.
EIC
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.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000253457
Comments and suggestions.(p4)
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
Business Forms and Publications Branch
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:B
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 taxforms@irs.gov. Enter "Publication 51" 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.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195470
Photographs of missing children.(p4)
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.

Calendar(p5)


The following are important dates and responsibilities. See section 7 for information about depositing taxes reported on Forms 941, 943, 944, and 945. Also see Publication 509, Tax Calendars.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195473
Deposit
If any date shown below 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. 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 form is properly addressed and mailed First-Class or sent by an IRS-designated delivery service by the due date. See Private delivery services under Reminders.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195476
By January 31(p5)
  • File Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees. See section 8 for more information on Form 943. If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
  • Furnish each employee with a completed Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
  • Furnish each recipient to whom you paid $600 or more in nonemployee compensation with a completed Form 1099 (for example, Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income).
  • File Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. See section 10 for more information on FUTA. If you deposited all the FUTA tax when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
  • File Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, to report any nonpayroll federal income tax withheld. If you deposited all Form 945 taxes when due, you have 10 additional calendar days to file.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195479
By February 15(p5)
Ask for a new Form W-4 or Formulario W-4(SP) from each employee who claimed exemption from federal income tax withholding last year.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195480
On February 16(p5)
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 5 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.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195482
By February 28(p5)
File paper Forms 1099 and 1096. 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 By March 31 below.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000262694
By February 29(p5)
File paper Forms W-2 and W-3. 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 next.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195486
By March 31(p5)
File electronic Forms W-2 and 1099. File electronic Forms W-2 with the SSA and Forms 1099 with the IRS. For more information on reporting Form W-2 information to the SSA electronically, visit the SSA'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, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G Electronically.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195487
By April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31(p5)
Deposit FUTA taxes. Deposit FUTA tax if the undeposited amount is over $500.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195488
Before December 1(p5)
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.

taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#TXMP386c138fIntroduction

This publication is for employers of agricultural workers (farmworkers). It contains information that you may need to comply with the laws for agricultural labor (farmwork) relating to social security and Medicare taxes, FUTA tax, and withheld federal income tax (employment taxes). Agricultural employers report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld federal income tax on Form 943 and report FUTA tax on Form 940.
If you have nonfarm employees, see Publication 15 (Circular E). If you have employees in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, see Publication 80 (Circular SS). Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, contains more employment-related information, including information about sick pay and pension income. Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, contains information about the employment tax treatment and valuation of various types of noncash compensation.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000230265

COBRA premium assistance credit.(p6)

rule
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. COBRA generally covers multiemployer health plans and health plans maintained by private-sector employers (other than churches) with 20 or more full and part-time employees. Parallel requirements apply to these plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Under the Public Health Service Act, COBRA requirements apply also to health plans covering state or local government employees. Similar requirements apply under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and under some state laws. For the premium assistance (or subsidy) discussed below, these requirements are all referred to as COBRA requirements.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), employers are allowed a credit against "payroll taxes" (referred to in this publication as "employment taxes") for providing COBRA premium assistance to assistance eligible individuals. For periods of COBRA continuation coverage beginning after February 16, 2009, a group health plan must treat an assistance eligible individual as having paid the required COBRA continuation coverage premium if the individual elects COBRA coverage and pays 35% of the amount of the premium.
An assistance eligible individual is a qualified beneficiary of an employer's group health plan who is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage during the period beginning September 1, 2008, and ending May 31, 2010, due to the involuntarily termination from employment of a covered employee during the period and elects continuation COBRA coverage. The assistance for the coverage can last up to 15 months.
Administrators of the group health plans (or other entities) that provide or administer COBRA continuation coverage must provide notice to assistance eligible individuals of the COBRA premium assistance.
The 65% of the premium not paid by the assistance eligible individual is reimbursed to the employer maintaining the group health plan. The reimbursement is made through a credit against the employer's employment tax liabilities. The employer takes the credit on Form 943, line 11a, once the 35% of the premium is paid by or on behalf of the assistance eligible individual. The credit is treated as a deposit made on the first day of the return period. In the case of a multiemployer plan, the credit is claimed by the plan, rather than the employer. In the case of an insured plan subject to state law continuation coverage requirements, the credit is claimed by the insurance company, rather than the employer.
Anyone claiming the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments must maintain the following information to support their claim, including the following.
For more information, visit IRS.gov and enter the keyword COBRA.

taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#TXMP5a76103c

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide
 15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide
 15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
 225 Farmer's Tax Guide
 535 Business Expenses
 583 Starting a Business and Keeping Records
 1635 Understanding Your EIN
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195497

1. Taxpayer Identification Numbers(p6)

rule
If you are required to withhold any federal income, social security, or Medicare taxes, you will need an employer identification number (EIN) for yourself. Also, you will need the social security number (SSN) of each employee and the name of each employee as shown on the employee's social security card.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195498

Employer identification number (EIN).(p6)

rule
An employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that the IRS issues. The digits are arranged as follows: 00-0000000. It is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain others who have no employees. Use your EIN on all of the items that you send to the IRS and SSA.
If you do not have an EIN, you may apply for one online. Visit IRS.gov and click on the Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online link. You may also apply for an EIN by calling 1-800-829-4933, or you can fax or mail Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to the IRS. Do not use a social security number (SSN) in place of an EIN.
If you do not have an EIN by the time a return is due, write "Applied For" and the date you applied for it in the space shown for the number. If you took over another employer's business, do not use that employer's EIN.
You should have only one EIN. If you have more than one, and are not sure which one to use, call the toll-free Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933 (TTY/TDD users can call 1-800-829-4059). Provide the EINs that you have, the name and address to which each number was assigned, and the address of your principal place of business. The IRS will tell you which EIN to use.
For more information, see Publication 1635 or Publication 583.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195500
When you receive your EIN.(p7)
If you are a new employer that indicated a federal tax obligation when requesting an EIN, you will be pre-enrolled in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). You will receive information in your Employer Identification Number (EIN) Package about Express Enrollment and an additional mailing containing your EFTPS personal identification number (PIN) and instructions for activating your PIN. Call the toll-free number located in your "How to Activate Your Enrollment" brochure to activate your enrollment and begin making your employment tax deposits. Be sure to tell your payroll provider about your EFTPS enrollment.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195501

Social security number (SSN).(p7)

rule
An employee's social security number (SSN) consists of nine digits arranged as follows: 000-00-0000. You must obtain each employee's name and SSN as shown on the employee's social security card because you must enter them on Form W-2. Do not accept a social security card that says "Not valid for employment." A social security number issued with this legend does not permit employment. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the social security card if the employee provides it. If you do not show the employee's correct name and SSN on Form W-2, you may owe a penalty unless you have reasonable cause. See Publication 1586, Reasonable Cause Regulations and Requirements for Missing and Incorrect Name/TINs.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195502

Applying for a social security card.(p7)

rule
Any employee who is legally eligible to work in the United States and does not have a social security card can get one by completing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, and submitting the necessary documentation to SSA. You can get Form SS-5 at SSA offices, by calling 1-800-772-1213, or from the SSA website at
www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html. The employee must complete and sign Form SS-5; it cannot be filed by the employer. You may be asked to supply a letter to accompany Form SS-5 if the employee has exceeded his or her yearly or lifetime limit for the number of replacement cards allowed.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195503

Applying for a social security number.(p7)

rule
If you file Form W-2 on paper and your employee has applied for an SSN but does not have one when you must file Form W-2, enter "Applied For" on the form. If you are filing electronically, enter all zeros (000-00-0000) in the social security number field. When the employee receives the SSN, file Copy A of Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the SSA to show the employee's SSN. Furnish Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2c to the employee. Up to five Forms W-2c per Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, may be filed per session over the Internet, with no limit on the number of sessions. For more information, visit SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information webpage at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer. Advise your employee to correct the SSN on his or her original Form W-2.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195504

Correctly record the employee's name and SSN.(p7)

rule
Record the name and number of each employee as they are shown on the employee's social security card. If the employee's name is not correct as shown on the card (for example, because of marriage or divorce), the employee should request a corrected card from the SSA. Continue to report the employee's wages under the old name until he or she shows you an updated social security card with the new name.
If the SSA issues the employee a replacement card after a name change, or a new card with a different social security number after a change in alien work status, file a Form W-2c to correct the name/SSN reported on the most recently filed Form W-2. It is not necessary to correct other years if the previous name and SSN were used for years before the most recent Form W-2.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195505

IRS individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) for aliens.(p7)

rule
Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is issued for use by resident and nonresident aliens who need identification for tax purposes, but who are not eligible for U.S. employment. The ITIN is a nine-digit number formatted like an SSN (for example, NNN-NN-NNNN). However, it begins with the number "9" and has either a "7" or "8" as the fourth digit (for example, 9NN-7N-NNNN or 9NN-8N-NNNN).
EIC
An individual with an ITIN who later becomes eligible to work in the United States must obtain an SSN. If the individual is currently eligible to work in the United States, instruct the individual to apply for an SSN and follow the instructions under Applying for a social security number, earlier in this section. Do not use an ITIN in place of an SSN on Form W-2.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000195508

Verification of social security numbers.(p7)

rule
The SSA provides several ways for employers and authorized reporting agents to verify employee social security numbers (SSNs). These services may be used for wage reporting purposes only. Some verification methods require registration. For more information, call 1-800-772-6270.
taxmap/pubs/p51-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170289
Registering for SSNVS and TNEV.(p8)
You must register online and receive authorization from your employer to use SSNVS or TNEV. You cannot register through TNEV. To register, visit SSA's website at
www.socialsecurity.gov/employer and click on the Business Services Online link. Follow the registration instructions to obtain a user identification (ID) and password. You will need to provide the following information about yourself and your company. When you have completed the online registration process, SSA will mail a one-time activation code to your employer. You must enter the activation code online to use SSNVS or TNEV.