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IRS.gov Website
Current Year Tax Map
Publication 15
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202428

11. Depositing Taxes(p25)

rule
In general, you must deposit federal income tax withheld and both the employer and employee social security and Medicare taxes. You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. See How To Deposit, later in this section, for information on electronic deposit requirements.
Deposit
The credit against employment taxes for COBRA assistance payments you take on Form 941, line 12a, or Form 944, line 9a, is treated as a deposit of taxes on the first day of your return period. See
COBRA premium assistance credit under Introduction for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202432

Payment with return.(p25)

rule
You may make a payment with Form 941 or Form 944 instead of depositing, without incurring a penalty, if one of the following applies. Employers who have been notified to file Form 944 can pay their fourth quarter tax liability with Form 944 if the fourth quarter tax liability is less than $2,500. Employers must have deposited any tax liability due for the first, second, and third quarters according to the deposit rules to avoid failure-to-deposit penalties for deposits during those quarters.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202434

Separate deposit requirements for nonpayroll (Form 945) tax liabilities.(p25)

rule
Separate deposits are required for nonpayroll and payroll income tax withholding. Do not combine deposits for Forms 941 (or Form 944) and Form 945 tax liabilities. Generally, the deposit rules for nonpayroll liabilities are the same as discussed below, except the rules apply to an annual rather than a quarterly return period. Thus, the $2,500 threshold for the deposit requirement discussed earlier applies to Form 945 on an annual basis. See the separate Instructions for Form 945 for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202435

When To Deposit(p25)

rule
There are two deposit schedules—monthly and semiweekly—for determining when you deposit social security, Medicare, and withheld income taxes. These schedules tell you when a deposit is due after a tax liability arises (for example, when you have a payday). Before the beginning of each calendar year, you must determine which of the two deposit schedules you are required to use. The deposit schedule you must use is based on the total tax liability you reported on Form 941 during a lookback period discussed next. Your deposit schedule is not determined by how often you pay your employees or make deposits. See special rules for Forms 944 and 945, later in this section. Also see Application of Monthly and Semiweekly Schedules, later in this section.
EIC
These rules do not apply to FUTA tax. See section 14 for information on depositing FUTA tax.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202439

Lookback period.(p25)

rule
If you are a Form 941 filer, your deposit schedule for a calendar year is determined from the total taxes reported on Forms 941, line 10, in a 4-quarter lookback period. The lookback period begins July 1 and ends June 30 as shown next in Table 1. If you reported $50,000 or less of taxes for the lookback period, you are a monthly schedule depositor; if you reported more than $50,000, you are a semiweekly schedule depositor.

Table 1. Lookback Period for Calendar Year 2013

Lookback Period
July 1, 2011Oct. 1, 2011Jan. 1, 2012Apr.1, 2012
throughthroughthroughthrough
Sep. 30, 2011Dec. 31, 2011Mar. 31, 2012June 30, 2012
EIC
The lookback period for a 2013 Form 941 filer who filed Form 944 in either 2011 or 2012 is calendar year 2011.
If you are a Form 944 filer for the current year or either of the preceding 2 years, your deposit schedule for a calendar year is determined from the total taxes reported during the second preceding calendar year (either on your Form 941 for all 4 quarters of that year or your Form 944 for that year). The lookback period for 2013 for a Form 944 filer is calendar year 2011. If you reported $50,000 or less of taxes for the lookback period, you are a monthly schedule depositor; if you reported more than $50,000, you are a semiweekly schedule depositor.
If you are a Form 945 filer, your deposit schedule for a calendar year is determined from the total taxes reported on line 3 of your Form 945 for the second preceding calendar year. The lookback period for 2013 for a Form 945 filer is calendar year 2011.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202442
Adjustments and the lookback rule.(p26)
Adjustments made on Form 941-X, Form 944-X, and Form 945-X do not affect the amount of tax liability for previous periods for purposes of the lookback rule.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202443

Example.(p26)

An employer originally reported a tax liability of $45,000 for the lookback period. The employer discovered, during January 2013, that the tax reported for one of the lookback period quarters was understated by $10,000 and corrected this error by filing Form 941-X. This employer is a monthly schedule depositor for 2013 because the lookback period tax liabilities are based on the amounts originally reported, and they were $50,000 or less.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202444

Deposit period.(p26)

rule
The term deposit period refers to the period during which tax liabilities are accumulated for each required deposit due date. For monthly schedule depositors, the deposit period is a calendar month. The deposit periods for semiweekly schedule depositors are Wednesday through Friday and Saturday through Tuesday.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202445

Monthly Deposit Schedule(p26)

rule
You are a monthly schedule depositor for a calendar year if the total taxes on Form 941, line 10, for the 4 quarters in your lookback period were $50,000 or less. Under the monthly deposit schedule, deposit employment taxes on payments made during a month by the 15th day of the following month. See also Deposits on Business Days Only and the $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule, later in this section. Monthly schedule depositors should not file Form 941 or Form 944 on a monthly basis.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202447

New employers.(p26)

rule
Your tax liability for any quarter in the lookback period before you started or acquired your business is considered to be zero. Therefore, you are a monthly schedule depositor for the first calendar year of your business. However, see the $100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule, later in this section.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202449

Semiweekly Deposit Schedule(p26)

rule
You are a semiweekly schedule depositor for a calendar year if the total taxes on Form 941, line 10, during your lookback period were more than $50,000. Under the semiweekly deposit schedule, deposit employment taxes for payments made on Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday by the following Wednesday. Deposit taxes for payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and/or Tuesday by the following Friday. See also Deposits on Business Days Only, later in this section.
Note. Semiweekly schedule depositors must complete Schedule B (Form 941), Report of Tax Liability for Semiweekly Schedule Depositors, and submit it with Form 941. If you file Form 944 and are a semiweekly schedule depositor, complete Form 945-A, Annual Record of Federal Tax Liability, and submit it with your return (instead of
Schedule B).

Table 2. Semiweekly Deposit Schedule

IF the payday falls
on a . . .
 THEN deposit taxes by
 the following . . .
Wednesday, Thursday,
 and/or Friday
 Wednesday
Saturday, Sunday,
 Monday, and/or Tuesday
 Friday
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202453

Semiweekly deposit period spanning 2 quarters.(p26)

rule
If you have more than one pay date during a semiweekly period and the pay dates fall in different calendar quarters, you will need to make separate deposits for the separate liabilities.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202454

Example.(p26)

rule
If you have a pay date on Saturday, March 30, 2013 (first quarter), and another pay date on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (second quarter), two separate deposits would be required even though the pay dates fall within the same semiweekly period. Both deposits would be due Friday, April 5, 2013.
Summary of Steps to Determine
Your Deposit Schedule
 1.Identify your lookback period (see Lookback period, earlier in this section).  
 2.Add the total taxes you reported on Form 941, line 10, during the lookback period. 
 3.Determine if you are a monthly or semiweekly schedule depositor: 
  If the total taxes you reported in the lookback period wereThen you are a 
  $50,000 or lessMonthly Schedule Depositor 
  More than $50,000Semiweekly Schedule Depositor 
 
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202457

Example of Monthly and Semiweekly Schedules(p26)

rule
Rose Co. reported Form 941 taxes as follows:
2012 Lookback Period2013 Lookback Period
3rd Quarter 2010 $12,000 3rd Quarter 2011 $12,000
4th Quarter 2010 12,000 4th Quarter 2011 12,000
1st Quarter 2011 12,000 1st Quarter 2012 12,000
2nd Quarter 2011 12,000 2nd Quarter 201215,000
  $48,000  $51,000
Rose Co. is a monthly schedule depositor for 2012 because its tax liability for the 4 quarters in its lookback period (third quarter 2010 through second quarter 2011) was not more than $50,000. However, for 2013, Rose Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor because the total taxes exceeded $50,000 for the 4 quarters in its lookback period (third quarter 2011 through second quarter 2012).
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202459

Deposits on Business Days Only(p27)

rule
If a deposit is required to be made on a day that is not a business day, the deposit is considered timely if it is made by the close of the next business day. A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For example, if a deposit is required to be made on a Friday and Friday is a legal holiday, the deposit will be considered timely if it is made by the following Monday (if that Monday is a business day).
Semiweekly schedule depositors have at least 3 business days to make a deposit. If any of the 3 weekdays after the end of a semiweekly period is a legal holiday, you will have an additional day for each day that is a legal holiday to make the required deposit. For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor accumulated taxes for payments made on Friday and the following Monday is a legal holiday, the deposit normally due on Wednesday may be made on Thursday (this allows 3 business days to make the deposit).
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000254849

Legal holiday.(p27)

rule
The term "legal holiday" means any legal holiday in the District of Columbia. Legal holidays for 2013 are listed below.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202460

Application of Monthly and Semiweekly Schedules(p27)

rule
The terms "monthly schedule depositor" and "semiweekly schedule depositor" do not refer to how often your business pays its employees or even how often you are required to make deposits. The terms identify which set of deposit rules you must follow when an employment tax liability arises. The deposit rules are based on the dates when wages are paid (for example, cash basis); not on when tax liabilities are accrued for accounting purposes.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202461

Monthly schedule example.(p27)

rule
Spruce Co. is a monthly schedule depositor with seasonal employees. It paid wages each Friday during January but did not pay any wages during February. Under the monthly deposit schedule, Spruce Co. must deposit the combined tax liabilities for the four January paydays by February 15. Spruce Co. does not have a deposit requirement for February (due by March 15) because no wages were paid and, therefore, it did not have a tax liability for February.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202462

Semiweekly schedule example.(p27)

rule
Green, Inc. is a semiweekly schedule depositor and pays wages once each month on the last Friday of the month. Although Green, Inc., has a semiweekly deposit schedule, it will deposit just once a month because it pays wages only once a month. The deposit, however, will be made under the semiweekly deposit schedule as follows: Green, Inc.'s tax liability for the April 26, 2013 (Friday), payday must be deposited by May 1, 2013 (Wednesday). Under the semiweekly deposit schedule, liabilities for wages paid on Wednesday through Friday must be deposited by the following Wednesday.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202463

$100,000 Next-Day Deposit Rule(p27)

rule
If you accumulate $100,000 or more in taxes on any day during a monthly or semiweekly deposit period (see Deposit period, earlier in this section), you must deposit the tax by the next business day, whether you are a monthly or semiweekly schedule depositor.
For purposes of the $100,000 rule, do not continue accumulating a tax liability after the end of a deposit period. For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor has accumulated a liability of $95,000 on a Tuesday (of a Saturday-through-Tuesday deposit period) and accumulated a $10,000 liability on Wednesday, the $100,000 next-day deposit rule does not apply. Thus, $95,000 must be deposited by Friday and $10,000 must be deposited by the following Wednesday.
However, once you accumulate at least $100,000 in a deposit period, stop accumulating at the end of that day and begin to accumulate anew on the next day. For example, Fir Co. is a semiweekly schedule depositor. On Monday, Fir Co. accumulates taxes of $110,000 and must deposit this amount on Tuesday, the next business day. On Tuesday, Fir Co. accumulates additional taxes of $30,000. Because the $30,000 is not added to the previous $110,000 and is less than $100,000, Fir Co. must deposit the $30,000 by Friday (following the semiweekly deposit schedule).
EIC
If you are a monthly schedule depositor and accumulate a $100,000 tax liability on any day, you become a semiweekly schedule depositor on the next day and remain so for at least the rest of the calendar year and for the following calendar year.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202465

Example.(p27)

Elm, Inc., started its business on May 1, 2013. On May 8, it paid wages for the first time and accumulated a tax liability of $40,000. On Friday, May 10, 2013, Elm, Inc., paid wages and accumulated a liability of $60,000, bringing its total accumulated tax liability to $100,000. Because this was the first year of its business, the tax liability for its lookback period is considered to be zero, and it would be a monthly schedule depositor based on the lookback rules. However, since Elm, Inc., accumulated a $100,000 liability on May 10, it became a semiweekly schedule depositor on May 11. It will be a semiweekly schedule depositor for the remainder of 2013 and for 2014. Elm, Inc., is required to deposit the $100,000 by Monday, May 13, the next business day.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202466

Accuracy of Deposits Rule(p28)

rule
You are required to deposit 100% of your tax liability on or before the deposit due date. However, penalties will not be applied for depositing less than 100% if both of the following conditions are met.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202467

Makeup Date for Deposit Shortfall:(p28)

rule
  1. Monthly schedule depositor. Deposit the shortfall or pay it with your return by the due date of your return for the return period in which the shortfall occurred. You may pay the shortfall with your return even if the amount is $2,500 or more.
  2. Semiweekly schedule depositor. Deposit by the earlier of:
    1. The first Wednesday or Friday (whichever comes first) that falls on or after the 15th of the month following the month in which the shortfall occurred, or
    2. The due date of your return (for the return period of the tax liability).
For example, if a semiweekly schedule depositor has a deposit shortfall during July 2013, the shortfall makeup date is August 16, 2013 (Friday). However, if the shortfall occurred on the required April 3, 2013 (Wednesday) deposit due date for a March 29, 2013 (Friday) pay date, the return due date for the March 29, 2013 pay date (April 30, 2013) would come before the May 15, 2013 (Wednesday) shortfall makeup date. In this case, the shortfall must be deposited by April 30, 2013.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202468

How To Deposit(p28)

rule
You must deposit employment taxes, including Form 945 taxes, by electronic funds transfer. See Payment with return, earlier in this section, for exceptions explaining when taxes may be paid with the tax return instead of being deposited.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202470

Electronic deposit requirement.(p28)

rule
You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax). 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 electronic deposits on your behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of Treasury. To get more information or to enroll in EFTPS, call 1-800-555-4477. You can also visit the EFTPS website at www.eftps.gov. Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Publication 966.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202471
When you receive your EIN.(p28)
If you are a new employer that indicated a federal tax obligation when requesting an EIN, you will be pre-enrolled in EFTPS. You will receive information about Express Enrollment in your Employer Identification Number (EIN) Package 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 payroll tax deposits. Be sure to tell your payroll provider about your EFTPS enrollment.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000254638
Deposit record.(p28)
For your records, an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Trace Number will be provided with each successful payment. The number can be used as a receipt or to trace the payment.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202472
Depositing on time.(p28)
For deposits made by EFTPS to be on time, you must initiate the deposit by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day before the date the deposit is due. If you use a third party to make a deposit on your behalf, they may have different cutoff times.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000254851
Same-day payment option.(p28)
If you fail to initiate a deposit transaction on EFTPS by 8 p.m. Eastern time the day before the date a deposit is due, you can still make your deposit on time by using the Federal Tax Application (FTA). To use the same-day payment method, you will need to make arrangements with your financial institution ahead of time. Please check with your financial institution regarding availability, deadlines, and costs. Your financial institution may charge you a fee for payments made this way. To learn more about the information you will need to provide to your financial institution to make a same-day wire payment, visit www.eftps.gov to download the Same-Day Payment Worksheet.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202483

How to claim credit for overpayments.(p28)

rule
If you deposited more than the right amount of taxes for a quarter, you can choose on Form 941 for that quarter (or on Form 944 for that year) to have the overpayment refunded or applied as a credit to your next return. Do not ask EFTPS to request a refund from the IRS for you.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202484

Deposit Penalties(p28)

rule
Deposit
Although the deposit penalties information provided below refers specifically to Form 941, these rules also apply to Form 945 and Form 944 (if the employer required to file Form 944 does not qualify for the exception to the deposit requirements discussed under Payment with return, earlier in this section).
Penalties may apply if you do not make required deposits on time or if you make deposits for less than the required amount. The penalties do not apply if any failure to make a proper and timely deposit was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. The IRS may also waive penalties if you inadvertently fail to deposit in the first quarter you were required to deposit any employment tax, or in the first quarter during which your frequency of deposits changed, if you timely filed your employment tax return.
For amounts not properly or timely deposited, 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 16 or more days late. Also applies to amounts paid within 10 days of the date of the first notice the IRS sent asking for the tax due.
10% -Amounts (that should have been deposited) paid directly to the IRS, or paid with your tax return. But see Payment with return, earlier in this section, for an exception.
15% -Amounts still unpaid more than 10 days after the date of the first notice the IRS sent asking for the tax due or the day on which you received notice and demand for immediate payment, whichever is earlier.
Late deposit penalty amounts are determined using calendar days, starting from the due date of the liability.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202490

Special rule for former Form 944 filers.(p29)

rule
If you filed Form 944 for the prior year and file Forms 941 for the current year, the failure-to-deposit penalty will not apply to a late deposit of employment taxes for January of the current year if the taxes are deposited in full by March 15 of the current year.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202491

Order in which deposits are applied.(p29)

rule
Deposits generally are applied to the most recent tax liability within the quarter. If you receive a failure-to-deposit penalty notice, you may designate how your deposits are to be applied in order to minimize the amount of the penalty if you do so within 90 days of the date of the notice. Follow the instructions on the penalty notice you received. For more information on designating deposits, see Revenue Procedure 2001-58. You can find Revenue Procedure 2001-58 on page 579 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2001-50 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb01-50.pdf.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202492

Example.(p29)

Cedar, Inc. is required to make a deposit of $1,000 on June 15 and $1,500 on July 15. It does not make the deposit on June 15. On July 15, Cedar, Inc. deposits $2,000. Under the deposits rule, which applies deposits to the most recent tax liability, $1,500 of the deposit is applied to the July 15 deposit and the remaining $500 is applied to the June deposit. Accordingly, $500 of the June 15 liability remains undeposited. The penalty on this underdeposit will apply as explained earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202493

Trust fund recovery penalty.(p29)

rule
If federal income, social security, or Medicare taxes that must be withheld are not withheld or are not deposited or paid to the United States Treasury, the trust fund recovery penalty may apply. The penalty is the full amount of the unpaid trust fund tax. This penalty may apply to you if these unpaid taxes cannot be immediately collected from the employer or business.
The trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to be responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over these taxes, and who acted willfully in not doing so.
A responsible person can be an officer or employee of a corporation, a partner or employee of a partnership, an accountant, a volunteer director/trustee, or an employee of a sole proprietorship, or any other person or entity that is responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over trust fund taxes. A responsible person also may include one who signs checks for the business or otherwise has authority to cause the spending of business funds.
Willfully means voluntarily, consciously, and intentionally. A responsible person acts willfully if the person knows the required actions of collecting, accounting for or paying over trust fund taxes are not taking place, or recklessly disregards obvious and known risks to the government's right to receive trust fund taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202494

Separate accounting when deposits are not made or withheld taxes are not paid.(p29)

rule
Separate accounting may be required if you do not pay over withheld employee social security, Medicare, or income taxes; deposit required taxes; make required payments; or file tax returns. In this case, you would receive written notice from the IRS requiring you to deposit taxes into a special trust account for the U.S. Government.
EIC
You may be charged with criminal penalties if you do not comply with the special bank deposit requirements for the special trust account for the U.S. Government.
taxmap/pubs/p15-010.htm#en_us_publink1000202496

"Averaged" failure-to-deposit penalty.(p29)

rule
IRS may assess an "averaged" failure-to-deposit (FTD) penalty of 2% to 10% if you are a monthly schedule depositor and did not properly complete Form 941, line 16, when your tax liability shown on Form 941, line 10, equaled or exceeded $2,500.
The IRS may also assess an "averaged" FTD penalty of 2% to 10% if you are a semiweekly schedule depositor and your tax liability shown on Form 941, line 10, equaled or exceeded $2,500 and you:
The FTD penalty is figured by distributing your total tax liability shown on Form 941, line 10, equally throughout the tax period. As a result, your deposits and payments may not be counted as timely because the actual dates of your tax liabilities cannot be accurately determined.
You can avoid an "averaged" FTD penalty by reviewing your return before you file it. Follow these steps before submitting your Form 941.