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Pay your Social Security tax deferral (from CARES Act)

SOLVEDby QuickBooks28Updated April 06, 2023

Learn how to pay your deferred Social Security tax payments directly to the IRS.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you may have been able to defer some of your employee and employer Social Security taxes from March 27, 2020 - December 31, 2020.  This was a voluntary program.

If you deferred any Social Security taxes in 2020, these need to be paid back to the IRS directly.

When are the deferred tax payments due? 

The deferred Social Security tax payments were split into two due dates:

  • December 31, 2021: Employee portion of deferred Social Security tax and 50% of the employer portion. 
  • December 31, 2022: The remaining 50% of the employer portion.

How do I pay the deferred Social Security tax?

You’ll need to pay the IRS directly. 

  1. Enroll in EFTPS with the IRS
  2. Sign in to the EFTPS website with your EIN, your PIN , and internet password.
  3. Select Form 941, the calendar quarter in 2020 to which the payment relates, and the option to pay the deferred amount. 
  4. You must schedule payments by 8 PM ET the day before the due date for the payment to be on time with the IRS. 
  5. Record the payment in your QuickBooks:

What happens if I didn’t make the 2021 deferral payments or I’m late paying them?

If you forgot to pay the employee portion or the first 50% of the employer portion by December 31, 2021, any 941 tax payments you’ve made for payrolls processed in 2022 will be applied by the IRS to your past due deferral payments.

You may then get a tax notice from the IRS stating payments are late for the 2022 payroll periods. If you do, follow the steps above in How do I pay the deferred Social Security tax. Then you’ll want to contact the IRS and have your 2022 payments applied to your affected payroll. 

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