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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Small Business, Self-Employed, Other Business - Forms 940, 941 and 944 Employment Taxes

  1. We are about to hire employees and need to know how much tax to withhold and where to send this money?
  2. We hired a nanny to look after our baby while we work. How do we pay her social security taxes and properly report her income?

Rev. date: 12/21/2012

We are about to hire employees and need to know how much tax to withhold and where to send this money?

You will need to:
Generally, employers are required to quarterly file Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, and annually file Form 940 (PDF), Employer's ANNUAL Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return.   For more information about Form 940, see Topic 759.  Employers also must annually file a Form W-2 (PDF), Wage and Tax Statement, for each employee, along with a Form W-3 (PDF), Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, and furnish copy of the Form W-2 to the employee.  
Some small employers (those whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less) must annually file Form 944 (PDF), Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, instead of Forms 941, if the IRS has notified them to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941.  Employers who are notified to file Form 944 but prefer to file Forms 941 may contact the IRS to request to file Forms 941 instead, and will receive written notification that their filing requirement has changed. (See the Instructions for Form 944).  New employers are also eligible to file Form 944, if they will meet the eligibility requirements.  If new employers qualify to file Form 944, they must check the box on line 14 of Form SS-4 (PDF), Application for Employer Identification Number, to indicate that they want to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941.  If new employers do not check this box, they must file Forms 941.
Monthly or semiweekly deposits may be required for taxes reported on Form 941 (or Form 944), and quarterly deposits may be required for taxes reported on Form 940.  The employer should consult each form’s instructions to determine when deposits and payments must be made.  
The Employment Tax e-file System offers an improved way to file Forms 940, 941, and 944 electronically.  Prospective participants must first complete and submit an IRS e-file application.  You can complete the IRS e-file application online after registering for e-services. For more information, visit the Employment Tax e-file System page on www.irs.gov.
Additional Information
Participation in IRS e-file

Rev. date: 01/09/2013

We hired a nanny to look after our baby while we work. How do we pay her social security taxes and properly report her income?

A nanny is considered a household employee, and you are a household employer: