March checklist, Quarter 1 filings for businesses in the United States

If you’re enrolled in Wave Payroll's automated tax payment and filing service, you should take the steps outlined in this guide before March 31, to help ensure the Quarter 1 filings that Wave produces are accurate. Payroll customers based in self-service tax states, or who have chosen to pay and file on their own, may find many of these steps helpful though not all will apply.

Checklist at a Glance:


Make sure the correct address is used on your tax forms

The IRS will update your address to match what is listed on Form 941. The address Wave generates on Form 941 is the "work address", not the "mailing address" you entered in Wave. If you’ve moved your business, an easy way to update your address on file with the IRS, is to file your Form 941 with the new address.

To review and manage your business address in Wave:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Under the Payroll subheading, select Business Profile
  3. Enter the address you want to appear on federal forms, in the Work Address field.

The correct Work Address should be entered in Wave no later than March 31. Please note the "Mailing Address" listed in Wave will not appear on your IRS forms.

 

Advise Wave if your business closed or you stopped paying wages this quarter

If your business has closed or if you have stopped paying wages during the quarter and you require "Box 17: business closed or stopped paying wages" marked on Form 941, please contact Wave Support no later than March 31.

 

Review new employees’ personal information

Have you paid one or more employees for the first time? Double check the following employee information in Wave to prevent common filing errors:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSN)
  • Employee Addresses
  • Employee Names (should be exactly as they appear on SSN cards)

To review and manage employee information in Wave, click Payroll and choose Employees. Select your employee's name and click Personal Information. More detailed steps are available in: "How to edit employee details."

 

Review employees' wages and benefits

Review your year-to-date entries to ensure everything is correct so far this year. A few things to consider:

  • Are all employees paid within Q1 entered into Wave (even if they were paid outside Wave)?
  • Are all wages reported accurately?

March 31 is the last day for Wave Payroll customers enrolled in automated tax payments and filings to request adjustments for the Quarter 1, 2020 Form 941. Wave will accommodate adjustments requested after this date with an amendment via Form 941 X once your original filing is complete.

 

Make sure employee tax profiles are updated

Any employees who were exempt from federal withholding in 2020 had to provide you with a new Federal W-4 no later than February 16, 2021. If you have any employees who were exempt from withholding in 2020, make sure you get a new a signed Federal Form W-4 and have entered this information into the employee’s tax details by this date.

You can review and download a current copy of Form W-4 from the IRS. You may also find it helpful to check out Wave's updates to the 2020 Federal Form W-4.

 

Consider any business structure change during the quarter

If you have made any changes to your business structure that resulted in a new Employer Identification Number (EIN), such as incorporating from a sole-proprietorship, you will need two sets of quarter-end forms. One set with your old EIN reporting payrolls paid before the business structure change and another set with the new EIN and wages paid after the change. This will also be true of the year end forms, which you file in January.

 

Let Wave know if you have claimed advances on Form 7200

Form 7200 was introduced in the midst of the many programs introduced to help businesses during COVID-19. It is used to request an advance payment of the tax credits for qualified sick and family leave wages, and the employee retention credit.  

If you have set up Payroll Tax Payments and Filings with Wave, please reach out to our Support Team to let us know if you submitted one or more Form 7200 in order to ensure your form 941 is accurate. 
Make sure you provide the following:  

  • Your business name
  • Applicable calendar quarter
  • Date(s) filed
  • Amount(s) entered in Section 2: Line 8

Please provide this information per form 7200 filed.

Please note that if we are nearing the end to a quarter, any unclaimed amount that is sitting in your account will be reconciled on your form 941. If you are unsure if you should still file a form 7200, please reach out prior to filing to avoid a double claim.

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