By: Jay Mittelman
All employers who pay wages subject to income tax withholding must file a quarterly tax form from the IRS, called form 941. This form reports employee wages and withholding. However, Employers who hire seasonal workers must fill out their taxes a little differently.
Seasonal employers don’t have a Form 941 for quarters where no wages have been paid and therefore no tax liability. In other words, since seasonal workers are only hired for brief windows of time / quarters, employers only need to report tax information for these quarters.
Employers will find a line on Form 941 with a box noting that they are a seasonal employer and thus will not have to file a return for every quarter of the year.
The preprinted label on Form 941 doesn’t include the date the quarter ended. Employers need to enter it themselves when they file the return.
The IRS doesn’t inquire about unfiled returns if at least one taxable return is filed each year. However, employers need to check the seasonal employer box on every Form 941 you file.
Some businesses often need to hire workers on a seasonal basis for help with things such as sporting events, holidays, harvest season, or commercial fishing. They even may hire temporary help for fireworks stands.
One of the most common forms of seasonal work is the agricultural industry. The IRS has a detailed publication on Agricultural employer tax information.
Employers are required to keep good records so that they can file accurate returns. It’s a good idea to keep all receipts, payment information, and tax data in one location to make filing taxes easier. At the end of the day, the IRS doesn’t care how casual or irregular an employer's hiring practices are, but record-keeping must be clear and must follow all the rules.
If you are a New York-based employer, or any employer struggling with filing taxes for seasonal workers, then perhaps Excelforce and our professional HR services can help make sure that you are filing taxes properly and staying compliant. Contact us today to see how we are already helping countless businesses with their taxes.