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The Answer Room: Payroll Filings and Form 941

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Hello Community! Today we will dive into Form 941, managing payroll tax filings and payments, as well as payroll deadlines. If you want to join in on the discussions or attend any of our live events, you can join us on social media by clicking the links below.

 

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In our most recent Answer Room event, hosted on the QBCares X Spaces, we went over 941 tax forms, the automatic and manual payroll filing processes, tax payments, and so much more. 

 

So let’s jump into what we discussed! 

 

Form 941

Payroll Taxes - Automatic Filings

Payroll Taxes - Manual Filings

Filing Deadlines and Status

Managing Tax Payments

Handling Tax Notices

 

Form 941

 

For anyone who may be new to the game, form 941 is the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and employers use it to report income taxes, Social Security tax, or Medicare tax withheld from employee's paychecks. They also use this form to pay the employer's portion of Social Security or Medicare tax.

 

Employers need to file this form if they paid any wages subject to employment taxes with the IRS for each quarter by the last day of the month that follows the end of the quarter. For example, the upcoming deadline for filing this Quarter is October 31st. 

 

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Use this link to view the Quarterly 941 Tax Forms mini guide.

 

Payroll Taxes - Automatic Filings

 

Before the filing deadline, you can either opt in for automatic filing, or double check that your account is already set for automatic filing. 

 

To do this in QuickBooks Online, you can:

  1. Go to your Settings gear icon in the top right corner
  2. Select Payroll Settings
  3. Click the Edit icon
  4. Choose between Automate Taxes and Forms or I’ll initiate payments and filings using QuickBooks

 

For a more detailed breakdown on managing automatic filings in QuickBooks Online, check out this article.

 

When it comes to QuickBooks Desktop, we will file and submit your federal and state taxes and forms for you if you use QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted. If you use QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced, you can follow this link, or view the video below to learn about the e-filing process.

 

 

Once you’ve completed your payroll filing setup, the automatic filing process is applicable to almost all federal, state and local payroll taxes. The one exception to this rule being that the local taxes aren't automated in QuickBooks Online Payroll Core.

 

Payroll Taxes - Manual Filings

 

For those of you who will be manually filing, you will still get reminders and to-do events in your account, and you can just follow the step-by-step instructions in those notifications to walk through the process of filing and paying your taxes. If you file or make your payment outside of QuickBooks, you can archive that filing and still track that payment on the QuickBooks end under your Taxes tab.

 

For our QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Basic and Standard users, click here for more information on the manual filing process.

 

Whether you’re filing manually or letting QuickBooks handle it for you, you still have the ability to double check the tax amount coming due. To do this, you’ll:

  1. Run the Payroll Details Report using your tax liability period as the date range
  2. Review it to make sure all paychecks are there
  3. Confirm each employee and employer tax amounts

 

Filing Deadlines and Status

 

Filing Status

 

You can always go back and review the forms after they’ve been filed in the Payroll Tax Center. 

 

To check the status of e-filed forms:

  1. Go to the Taxes section, then choose the Payroll Tax option
  2. Here you should see Payments 
  3. Select Tax Payment History
  4. Here you’ll see the current status of your filed forms. 

 

Of course, for manually filed forms, you’ll need to track the form status directly through the IRS site.

 

In both QuickBooks, and the IRS site, there are four different status labels that you’ll see. 

 

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Filing Deadlines

 

The main dates that should be kept in mind when it comes to tax filings are the Quarterly deadlines for the 941 form, which are April 30th, July 31st, October 31st, and January 31st of the next year. 

 

There are also the annual payroll tax forms. Form 944, 940, W-2s and W-3s are all due on January 31st of the following year, and the Annual Reconciliation Report is due on February 28th of the following year. 

 

With W-2 filings right around the corner, make sure you’re ready to tackle those filings by taking a look at Kiala’s mini guide to managing W-2s.

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Managing Tax Payments

 

Making Payments 

 

Even if you’re set for automatic filing, knowing these dates is super important so you can ensure the funds to cover your payroll taxes are available when you submit the payment. 

 

The IRS directly withdraws the funds from your bank account on the payment date. However, for state payments, processing times may vary from state to state. For most states, you must approve e-payments by 5 pm PT, two banking days before the payment date, while others require approval three or five banking days before the payment date, so make sure to check directly with your state’s requirements when planning your payments.

 

Deleting Payments

 

In addition to making payments, it’s also important to know about deleting tax payments. Typically, this won’t be necessary, but if you end up needing to delete a tax payment, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

 

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If you’re needing to delete a tax payment, you can delete Federal tax payments two business days prior to the payment date, before 5 pm PST.

 

States have different lead times for processing tax payments, and some states may take up to five business days so, if this is the case for your state, you’d need to delete the payment five business days prior to the payment date, before 5 pm PST.

 

Handling Tax Notices

 

Ideally, all of your tax filings and payments will be smooth and successful. However, if you ever do notice a payment rejection regarding a filing handled by Intuit, you’ll want to reach out to us so that we can take a look at what’s going on and help you get lined out for the next steps.

 

Another thing you may run into are tax notices. If you receive a tax notice, you’ll want to first evaluate what kind of notice it is. 

 

Notices for business taxes, such as sales tax, corporate income tax, and franchise tax, should be directed to your accountant or tax advisor. 

 

On the other hand, QuickBooks Payroll does handle: 

  • IRS forms 941, 944, 940, W-2
  • State unemployment insurance
  • State withholding tax
  • Local withholding taxes where applicable

 

So, if the notice is regarding one of these forms and is related to the timeline in which Intuit has been handling your Payroll, then you’ll want to send us your tax notice. 

 

Once it’s received and verified, we will provide the required proof of payment, filing, or correction on your behalf.

 

 

That’s all we have to share with you today! If you’re interested in joining us for our weekly live events, you can follow us on our @QBCares X page. 

 

See you next time!

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