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taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000233889
Publication 80

(Circular SS),

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

Future Developments(p1)

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For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 80, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/pub80.

What's New(p1)

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taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000254377
Social security and Medicare tax for 2017.(p1)
The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. The social security wage base limit is $127,200.
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.
Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $2,000 or more in cash wages in 2017. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,800 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation in 2017.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100049349
Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities.(p2)
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, a qualified small business may elect to claim up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer’s share of social security tax. The portion of the credit used against the employer’s share of social security tax is allowed in the first calendar quarter beginning after the date that the qualified small business filed its income tax return. The election and determination of the credit amount that will be used against the employer's share of social security tax is made on Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities. The amount from Form 6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form 8974, Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities. Form 8974 is used to determine the amount of the credit that can be used in the current quarter. The amount from Form 8974, line 12, is reported on Form 941 or 941-SS, line 11.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100049350
New certification program for professional employer organizations.(p2)
The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 required the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs). PEOs handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs. To become and remain certified under the certification program, certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs) must meet tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding, and other requirements described in sections 3511 and 7705 and related published guidance. The IRS began accepting applications for PEO certification in July 2016. Certification as a CPEO affects the employment tax liabilities of both the CPEO and its customers. A CPEO is generally treated as the employer of any individual performing services for a customer of the CPEO and covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between the CPEO and the customer (CPEO contract), but only for wages and other compensation paid to the individual by the CPEO. For more information, visit IRS.gov and enter "CPEO" in the search box.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100049351
Leave-based donation programs to aid victims of the severe storms and flooding in Louisiana.(p2)
Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before January 1, 2018, to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of the severe storms and flooding in Louisiana that began on August 11, 2016. The donated leave won't be included in the income or wages of the employee. The employer may deduct the cash payments as business expenses or charitable contributions. For more information, see Notice 2016-55, 2016-40 I.R.B. 432, available at IRS.gov/irb/2016-40_IRB/ar08.html.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100050392
Leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew.(p2)
Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before January 1, 2018, to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Matthew. The donated leave won't be included in the income or wages of the employee. The employer may deduct the cash payments as business expenses or charitable contributions. For more information, see Notice 2016-69, 2016-51 I.R.B. 832, available at IRS.gov/irb/2016-51_IRB/ar11.html.

Reminders(p2)

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Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans.(p2)
The work opportunity tax credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2020. Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans can claim the work opportunity tax credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C. For more information, visit IRS.gov and enter “work opportunity tax credit” in the search box.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink10008385
COBRA premium assistance credit. (p2)
Effective for tax periods beginning after December 31, 2013, the credit for COBRA premium assistance payments can't be claimed on 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. Instead, after filing your Form 941-SS, file Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, to claim the COBRA premium assistance credit. Filing a Form 941-X before filing a Form 941-SS for the quarter may result in errors or delays in processing your Form 941-X. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 941-SS or visit IRS.gov and enter "COBRA" in the search box. See the Instructions for Form 943 or the Instructions for Form 944 if you file one of these returns.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink10003004
Same-sex marriage.(p2)
A marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage is recognized by the state, possession, or territory of the United States in which the marriage is entered into, regardless of legal residence. Two individuals who enter into a relationship that is denominated as marriage under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction are recognized as married for federal tax purposes if the relationship would be recognized as marriage under the laws of at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States, regardless of legal residence. Individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that isn't denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into aren't recognized as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of legal residence.
Notice 2013-61 provides special administrative procedures for employers to make claims for refund or adjustments of overpayments of social security and Medicare taxes with respect to certain same-sex spouse benefits before expiration of the period of limitations. Notice 2013-61, 2013-44 I.R.B. 432, is available at IRS.gov/irb/2013-44_IRB/ar10.html. You may correct errors to Additional Medicare Tax withheld for prior years if the amount reported on your employment tax return doesn't agree with the amount you actually withheld. This type of error is an administrative error. You may also correct errors to Additional Medicare Tax withheld for prior years if section 3509 rates apply.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000196644
Outsourcing payroll duties.(p3)
Unless the wages and other compensation paid to the individual performing services for you are paid by a CPEO and are covered by a contract described in section 7705(e)(2) between you and a CPEO (CPEO contract), you're responsible to ensure that tax returns are filed and deposits and payments are made, even if you contract with a third party to perform these acts. You remain responsible if the third party fails to perform any required action. If you choose to outsource any of your payroll and related tax duties (that is, withholding, reporting, and paying over social security, Medicare, FUTA, and income taxes) to a third-party payer, such as a payroll service provider or reporting agent, visit IRS.gov and enter "outsourcing payroll duties" in the search box for helpful information on this topic.
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Residents of the Philippines working in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).(p3)
Employers must withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes on wages and other compensation paid to residents of the Philippines who don’t hold an H-2 status for services performed as employees in the CNMI after December 31, 2014, unless those workers are eligible for exemption from social security and Medicare taxes under an exception listed in section 12. For more information, see Announcement 2012-43, 2012-51 I.R.B. 723, available at IRS.gov/irb/2012-51_IRB/ar15.html.
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CNMI government employees are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.(p3)
Beginning in the fourth calendar quarter of 2012, CNMI government employees are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
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You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944.(p3)
If you’ve been filing Forms 941-SS and believe your employment taxes for the calendar year will be $1,000 or less, and you would like to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS, you must contact the IRS during the first calendar quarter of the tax year to request to file Form 944. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Form 944 instead of Forms 941-SS before you may file this form. For more information on requesting to file Form 944, including the methods and deadlines for making a request, see the Instructions for Form 944.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100051465
Employers can request to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944.(p3)
If you received notice from the IRS to file Form 944 but would like to file Forms 941-SS instead, you must contact the IRS during the first calendar quarter of the tax year to request to file Forms 941-SS. You must receive written notice from the IRS to file Forms 941-SS instead of Form 944 before you may file these forms. For more information on requesting to file Forms 941-SS, including the methods and deadlines for making a request, see the Instructions for Form 944.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000238987
Federal employers in the CNMI.(p3)
The U.S. Treasury Department and the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation entered into an agreement under 5 USC 5517 in December 2006. Under this agreement, all federal employers (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 for employees who are subject to CNMI taxes and whose regular place of federal employment is in the CNMI. For more information, including details on completing Form W-2, visit IRS.gov and enter "5517 agreement" in the search box. 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.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000281136
Change of business address or responsible party.(p3)
Notify the IRS immediately if you change your business address or responsible party. Complete and mail Form 8822-B to notify the IRS of a business address or responsible party change. For a definition of "responsible party," see the Form 8822-B instructions.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264451
Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT).(p3)
You must use EFT to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, an EFT is made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you don't 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. 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 8.
For more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit the EFTPS website at eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD). Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Pub. 966.
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Electronic filing and payment.(p3)
Using electronic options can make filing a return and paying your federal tax easier. Use 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 (EFW) from your bank account while e-filing. Don't use EFW to pay taxes that are required to be deposited. Visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/employmentefile for more information on filing electronically. For more information on paying your taxes using EFW, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/payments. A fee may be charged to file electronically.
  • For EFTPS, visit eftps.gov or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-733-4829 (TDD).
  • For electronic filing of Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, Wage and Tax Statements; W-3SS, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements; and W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, visit socialsecurity.gov/employer.
EIC
If you’re filing your tax return or paying your federal taxes electronically, a valid EIN is required. If a valid EIN isn't provided, the return or payment won't be processed. This may result in penalties and delays in processing your return or payment.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264453
Electronic option for filing Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI.(p4)
Employers in American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands can now use the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) W-2 Online service to create, save, print, and submit up to 50 Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI at a time over the Internet. Form W-3SS will be generated automatically based on your Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI. For more information, visit the SSA's website at socialsecurity.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.
EIC
If you’re required to file 250 or more Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI, you must file electronically. Failure to file electronically may result in penalties. For more information, see section 10.
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Credit or debit card payments.(p4)
You can pay the balance due shown on your employment tax return by credit or debit card. Don't 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 IRS.gov/payments.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100022578
Online payment agreement.(p4)
You may be eligible to apply for an installment agreement online if you have a balance due when you file your employment tax return. For more information, see the instructions for your employment tax return or visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/opa.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000233901
Hiring new employees.(p4)
Record the number and name from each new employee's social security card. An employee who doesn't have a social security card should apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. See section 3.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000294269
Reporting discrepancies between Forms 941-SS (or Form 944) and Forms W-2.(p4)
File Schedule D (Form 941), Report of Discrepancies Caused by Acquisitions, Statutory Mergers, or Consolidations, to explain certain wage, tax, and payment discrepancies between Forms 941-SS (or Form 944), and Forms W-2 that were caused by acquisitions, statutory mergers, or consolidations. For more information, see the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 941).
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Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online.(p4)
Visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/ein to apply for an EIN online.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000196646
Dishonored payments.(p4)
Any form of payment that is dishonored and returned from a financial institution is subject to a penalty. The penalty is $25 or 2% of the payment, whichever is more. However, the penalty on dishonored payments of $24.99 or less is an amount equal to the payment. For example, a dishonored payment of $18 is charged a penalty of $18.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000233902
Private delivery services.(p4)
You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to send tax returns or payments. The list includes only the following.
  • DHL Express: DHL Express 9:00, DHL Express 10:30, DHL Express 12:00, DHL Express Worldwide, DHL Express Envelope, DHL Import Express 10:30, DHL Import Express 12:00, and DHL Import Express Worldwide
  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Next Flight Out, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First, and FedEx International Economy
  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air Early AM, 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
For the IRS mailing address to use if you’re using a private delivery service, go to IRS.gov and enter "private delivery service" in the search box. Your private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
EIC
Private delivery services can't 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/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000233904
Recordkeeping.(p4)
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 (SSNs); copies of returns filed; dates of employment; and the dates and amounts of deposits made. Farm employers must keep a record of the name, permanent address, and EIN of each crew leader. See Farm Crew Leaders in section 2.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink10003005
Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs).(p4)
Eligible single-owner disregarded entities and QSubs are treated as separate entities for employment tax purposes. Eligible single-member entities must report and pay employment taxes on wages paid to their employees using the entities' own names and EINs. See Regulations sections 1.1361-4(a)(7) and 301.7701-2(c)(2)(iv).
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink100049358
Pub. 5146 explains employment tax examinations and appeal rights.(p4)
Pub. 5146 provides employers with information on how the IRS selects employment tax returns to be examined, what happens during an exam, and what options an employer has in responding to the results of an exam, including how to appeal the results. Pub. 5146 also includes information on worker classification issues and tip exams.
taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000233909
Photographs of missing children.(p4)
The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). 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)

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taxmap/pubs/p80-000.htm#en_us_publink1000254102
The following are important dates and responsibilities. Also see Pub. 509, Tax Calendars.
Deposit
If any date shown next 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’re required to file is located in that state. However, a statewide legal holiday doesn't delay the due date of federal tax deposits. See Deposits Due on Business Days Only in section 8. For any filing due date, you’ll 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 delivery service on or before the due date. See Private delivery services under Reminders for more information.
By January 31
File Form 941-SS or Form 944.(p5)
File Form 941-SS for the fourth quarter of the previous calendar year and deposit any undeposited taxes. You may pay these taxes with Form 941-SS if your total tax liability for the quarter is less than $2,500. File Form 944 for the previous calendar year instead of Form 941-SS if the IRS has notified you in writing to file Form 944 and pay any undeposited 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 in section 8. If you timely deposited all taxes when due, you may file by February 10.
File Form 943.(p5)
File Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, with the IRS. If you deposited all Form 943 taxes when due, you may file Form 943 by February 10.
File Form 940.(p5)
U.S. Virgin Islands employers only must file Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, with the IRS. Pay or deposit (if more than $500) any balance of the tax due. If you deposited the full amount of taxes when due, you may file Form 940 by February 10.
Furnish Forms 1099 and W-2.(p5)
Furnish each employee a completed Form W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI. See section 10 for more information. Furnish Form 1099-MISC to payees for nonemployee compensation. Most Forms 1099 must be furnished to payees by January 31, but some can be furnished by February 15. For more information, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns.
File Form W-2.(p5)
File with the SSA Copy A of all 2016 paper and electronic Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI and Form W-3SS, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements. 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 socialsecurity.gov/employer. If filing electronically, the SSA will generate Form W-3SS data from the electronic submission of Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, and W-2VI.
File Form 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation.(p5)
File with the IRS Copy A of all 2016 paper and electronic Forms 1099-MISC that report nonemployee compensation, with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. For information on filing information returns electronically with the IRS, see Pub. 1220.
By April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31
Deposit FUTA taxes.(p5)
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 for more information.
File Form 941-SS.(p5)
File Form 941-SS and deposit any undeposited taxes. You may pay these taxes with Form 941-SS if your total tax liability for the quarter is less than $2,500. If you timely deposited all taxes when due, you may file by May 10, August 10, November 10, or February 10, respectively. Don’t file Form 941-SS for these quarters if you’ve been notified to file Form 944 and you didn’t request and receive written notice from the IRS to file quarterly Forms 941-SS.
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Introduction(p5)

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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). See section 6 and section 7 for more information. This publication summarizes employer responsibilities to collect, pay, and report these taxes.
Whenever the term "United States" is used in this publication, it includes 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 for more information.
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 doesn't include information relating to the self-employment tax (for social security and Medicare of self-employed persons). See Pub. 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, if you need this information.
This publication also doesn't include information relating to income tax withholding. In U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, contact your local tax department for information about income tax withholding. See Pub. 15 for information on U.S. federal income tax withholding.
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Comments and suggestions.(p6)

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We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can send us comments from IRS.gov/formcomment.
Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service
Tax Forms and Publications
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.
Although we can’t respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax forms, instructions, and publications. We can’t answer tax questions sent to the above address.