According to the Internal Revenue Service, federal tax deposits using Form 941 are made up mostly of withholding taxes or payroll deductions for Social Security and Medicaid. The due date for these IRS tax deposits depends on the amount of wages that you typically pay to your employees. The higher your quarterly payroll-tax liability, the more frequently the IRS will require you to deposit your taxes. You must make 941 payroll-tax deposits directly by using the Federal Tax Deposit Payment System or by using your bank's online federal payroll-tax deposit system.
Quarterly Tax Depositors
As of the time of this writing, if your payroll-tax liability for the entire quarter is $2,500 or less, you may mail the IRS a check along with your payroll-tax reporting form. This form and payment is due on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter: Apr. 30 for the first quarter, Jul. 31 for the second quarter, Oct. 31 for the third quarter, and Jan. 31 for the fourth quarter.
Monthly Tax Depositors
If your annual tax liability is less than $50,000, you must deposit your federal payroll taxes on the fifteenth day of the month following the month when the taxes were incurred. If the fifteenth falls on a holiday or weekend, you may deposit your taxes on the next business day.
Semiweekly Tax Depositors
If you annual payroll tax liability is more than $50,000, you must deposit your payroll taxes semiweekly. If you write your paychecks on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, you must make your payroll tax deposits by the following Friday. If you write your paychecks on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, you must make your federal tax deposits by the following Wednesday. Base your deposit schedule on the day you actually pay the wages, rather than on the days that your employees earned the money.
Liability Limit of $100,000
Regardless of whether you follow a semiweekly or monthly federal tax-deposit schedule, your unpaid employment tax liability should never exceed $100,000. If it does, you must deposit your accrued payroll taxes no later than the cutoff time of the next business banking day, or the time of day when that deposit will be credited to your account for that day, rather than the next.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.