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Publication 225

Reporting and Paying Social Security, Medicare, and Withheld Federal Income Taxes(p80)

You must withhold federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes required to be withheld from the salaries and wages of your employees. You are liable for the payment of these taxes to the federal government whether or not you collect them from your employees. If, for example, you withhold less than the correct tax from an employee's wages, you are still liable for the full amount. You must also pay the employer's share of social security and Medicare taxes.

Form 943.(p80)

Report withheld federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax on
Form 943. Your 2012 Form 943 is due by January 31, 2013 (or February 11, 2013, if you made deposits on time in full payment of the taxes due for the year).


Generally, you must deposit both the employer and employee shares of social security and Medicare taxes and federal income tax withheld during the year. However, you may make payments with Form 943 instead of depositing them if you accumulate less than a $2,500 tax liability during the year (Form 943, line 9 (line 11 for years prior to 2011)) and you pay in full with a timely filed return.
For more information on deposit rules, see Publication 51 (Circular A).
Electronic deposit requirement.(p80)
You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits. Generally, electronic funds transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If you do not want to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on your behalf. Also, you may arrange for your financial institution to initiate a same-day wire payment on your behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of Treasury. Services provided by your tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee.
For more information on making federal tax deposits, see section 7 of Publication 51 (Circular A). To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit or call 1-800-555-4477. Additional information about EFTPS is also available in Publication 966.

Form W-2.(p80)

By January 31, you must furnish each employee a Form W-2 showing total wages for the previous year and total federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax withheld. However, if an employee stops working for you and requests the form earlier, you must give it to the employee within 30 days of the later of the following dates.

Compensation paid to H-2A visa holders.(p80)

Report compensation of $600 or more paid to foreign agricultural workers who entered the country on H-2A visas in box 1 of Form W-2. Compensation paid to H-2A workers for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes, and therefore should not be reported as wages subject to social security tax (line 2) or Medicare tax (line 4) on Form 943, and should not be reported as social security wages (box 3) or Medicare wages (box 5) on Form W-2. An employer is not required to withhold federal income tax from compensation it pays to an H-2A worker for agricultural labor performed in connection with this visa unless the worker asks for withholding and the employer agrees. In this case, the worker must give the employer a completed Form W-4. Federal income tax withheld should be reported on Form 943, line 6, and in box 2 of Form W-2. These reporting rules apply when the H-2A worker provides his or her taxpayer identification number (TIN) to the employer. For the rules relating to backup withholding and reporting when the H-2A worker does not provide a TIN, see the Instructions for Form 1099-MISC and the Instructions for Form 945.

Trust fund recovery penalty.(p80)

If you are responsible for withholding, accounting for, depositing, or paying federal withholding taxes and willfully fail to do so, you can be held liable for a penalty equal to the withheld tax not paid. A responsible person can be an officer of a corporation, a partner, a sole proprietor, or an employee of any form of business. A trustee or agent with authority over the funds of the business can also be held responsible for the penalty.
Willfully means voluntarily, consciously, and intentionally. Paying other expenses of the business instead of the taxes due is acting willfully.

Consequences of treating an employee as an independent contractor.(p80)

If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and your have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker. See Publication 15-A for more information.