How to determine your IRS filing status

This article applies to Payroll by Wave in the US.

Check below to see what filing status fits your circumstances.

Quarterly (Form 941)

Employers must file form 941 each quarter if they pay wages subject to income tax withholding (including withholding on sick pay and supplemental unemployment benefits) or social security and Medicare taxes, unless they receive an IRS notification that they are required to file Form 944 or are a seasonal employer, household employer, or farm employer.

Seasonal employers don't have to file a Form 941 for quarters in which they have no tax liability because they have paid no wages. To tell the IRS that you won't file a return for one or more quarters during the year, check the box on line 16 every quarter you file Form 941.

Annually (Form 944)

Employers with small payrolls may file form 944 instead of form 941, if they have indicated this on their form SS-4, Application for an Employer Identification Number. Form 944 is designed for employers with an annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less. Only small business employers who have been notified by the IRS to file Form 944 may file it.

Household Employer (Schedule H)

If you are a sole proprietor and file Form 941 or Form 944 for business employees, you may include taxes for household employees on your Form 941 or Form 944. Otherwise, report social security and Medicare taxes and income tax withholding for household employees on Schedule H (Form 1040).

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