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Publication 80

(Circular SS),


Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

What's New(p1)



COBRA premium assistance credit extended.(p1)

The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments has been extended. It now applies to premiums paid for employees terminated before March 1, 2010 and to premiums paid for 15 months. See COBRA premium assistance credit on page 7 of Publication 15 (Circular E) for 2010. You can get Circular E at

Employers can choose to file Form 941-SS instead of Form 944-SS for 2010.(p1)

Beginning with tax year 2010, employers that would otherwise be required to file Form 944-SS can notify the IRS if they want to file quarterly Form 941-SS instead of annual Form 944-SS. See Revenue Procedure 2009-51 for more information.

FUTA tax rate for 2010.(p1)

The 6.2% FUTA tax rate has been extended through the first six months of calendar year 2011.

Social security and Medicare taxes for 2010.(p1)

Do not withhold social security tax after an employee reaches $106,800 in social security wages, which remains unchanged from 2009. 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.

Verifying social security numbers.(p2)

Starting in fall 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer manually verify Social Security numbers (SSNs) over the telephone. SSA now offers an automated telephone service, Telephone Number Employer Verification (TNEV), that lets employers and authorized reporting agents verify up to 10 employee names and SSNs. For more information, see section 3, Employee's Social Security Number (SSN) for details.




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.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) income taxes.(p2)

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.

Credit card and debit card payments.(p2)

You can use your American Express® Card, Discover® Card, MasterCard®, Visa® card or debit card to pay the balance due shown on Form 944-SS, Forms 941-SS, Form 943, or Form 940. To pay by credit card or debit card, call toll-free or visit the website of any service provider listed below and follow the instructions. A convenience fee will be charged by the service provider based on the amount you are paying. Fees vary between the providers. You will be told what the fee is during the transaction and you will have the option to either continue or cancel the transaction. You can also find out what the fee will be by calling the provider’s toll-free automated customer service number or by visiting the provider’s website shown below. You may not use a credit card or debit card to pay taxes that are required to be deposited.

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 for more information on filing electronically.

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.

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:
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 4 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.

Reporting discrepancies between Forms 941-SS or Forms 944-SS and Forms W-2.(p3)

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).

Web-based application for an EIN.(p3)

You can apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online by visiting the IRS website at

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

Tax Help.(p3)

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 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.

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.

By January 31(p3)


By February 28(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.

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 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.

Tax help.(p4)


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.

How To Get Forms and Publications(p4)


Internet. You can access the IRS website at 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.

By phone.(p4)


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).

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 
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 * (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.