Payroll Tax Forms: Form 941

An IRS Form 941 is one of the federal payroll tax forms used to report:

Payroll Tax Forms: 941
  • number of employees
  • total wages paid during the quarter
  • withholding and total payroll taxes paid during the quarter

Instructions on how to calculate payroll taxes. 

Note: For Canadian payroll tax forms..see Church Treasurers of Canada 

Payroll Tax Form 941 Due Dates:

Submit a Form 941 Employers Quarterly report to the IRS according to the following schedule:

  • First quarter ends March 31...report due April 30
  • Second quarter ends June 30...report due July 31
  • Third quarter ends Sept 30...report due Oct 31
  • Fourth quarter ends Dec 31...report due Jan 31

Note: there is an annual employer reporting form (Form 944); however, you cannot use that form unless the IRS has informed you to use it. All other filers must use the payroll tax Form 941.

See line by line instructions on completing a 941 form for a church on page 108 of the Church Accounting How To Guide.

Includes:

  • how to withhold payroll taxes
  • what churches are required to pay and withhold
  • step by step instructions on completing year end filings such as a W-3 and W-2
  • much more...

Preparing a Form 941:

Form 941 may be filed electronically or mailed. If you are using an accounting software package, see if there is an efile option.

Instructions for manually completing and mailing the 941:

  • Summarize all your payroll information for the entire quarter.
  • Enter payroll information gathered into the Form 941. (Note:Do not include a minister's housing allowance when figuring and entering wages paid. See this page for information on how to report a minister's housing allowance.)
  • Don't forget to check box in line 4, if none of the wages or compensation reported were subject to Social Security and Medicare such as a qualifying minister.
  • Sign the Form 941
  • Make a copy of it before you mail it to the IRS.
  • Mail in the preprinted envelope the IRS provided with your Form 941 package or if you don't have a preprinted envelope, look up the correct mailing address on page 4 of the Form 941 instructions booklet.

    Notice there are different address for different states and if you are sending a payment in or not.

Note: All withheld taxes must now be paid to the IRS electronically, using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS.gov).

Some smaller churches can still pay their payroll tax quarterly; however, most churches must pay their payroll taxes by the 15th day of each month. How often you must electronically pay your payroll taxes depends on whether your payroll tax liability is determined to be small, medium, or large by the IRS.

Your tax liability is considered small if, for the entire quarter, your tax liability is less than $2,500.

Your tax liability is considered large if for the previous two years, the average payroll tax liability is more than $50,000 per year.

If your tax liability is more than $2,500 per quarter and less than $50,000 per year, you fall into the medium category.

See section 11 of Pub 15 (Circular E) for information and rules about federal tax deposits. 

Remember the IRS is very strict with their due dates and can charge your church or nonprofit organization some hefty penalties for late payments!

****Important: Most states have their own state payroll tax forms due in the same month as the form 941s. Check with your state for the appropriate forms and due dates.

Did your organization pay more than than $600 in rents, services, prizes and awards and other income payments to any nonemployee during the year? If so review this page: Form 1099-MISC Information and Instructions

If you have paid employees, you must prepare W-2 and W-3 forms each year. Review this page for Form W-2 Information and Instructions.

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Questions and Comments on the IRS Form 941

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Archive of Form 941 Questions (& Answers)

The following comments, tips, and Q/A were provided by FreeChurchAccounting's generous readers:

Signature on 941 
Who signs the 941 if it is prepared by a volunteer of the church?

How to correct filed 941 line 4 that was not checked and should have been? 
After receiving notice from IRS indicating line 4 was unchecked therefore taxes and penalties due, Is 941X the form to use and just write an explanation …

Correcting 941 
I forgot to check box 4 on my 941, how do I correct that?

Does the church have to file a 941? 
The church has only one employee, the minister. They do not withhold any taxes but they give the minster a W-2. Does the church have to file 941? …

How do I correct an error in Box 2 of Form 941? 
I entered the Minister's Housing Allowance in 2 Wages, tips and other compensation of Form 941 and mailed them to the IRS. How do I correct this?

Erroneously included housing allowance on Form 941 
I included minister's housing allowance on line 2 for the 2nd, & 3rd qtr Form 941's. Since my W-2's and Form 941 totals won't match, how do I correct …

941 Non File 
What if we paid our taxes but we didn't file a 941? What do we do and is there penalties?

Payroll and Forms for pastor which has a secular job along with ministry. 
We have a very small church (just few couples) we just started and we would like to pay something to our pastor (he is an ordained minister) but not as …

Prior filed incorrectly 941 forms for our church 
I filed 941 forms for 2014 reporting only the portion of deductions from 6 of our ministers. I used the box 5a and box 5c to report their portion of SS …

minister's wages should be included on Line 2 of 941? 
So please clarify. I do have to include our minister's wages on Line 2 of 941 or I do not have to include them?

Form 941 and insurance stipend 
On form 941 would I include on line 2 the monies given for an insurance stipend along with the pastors wages?

W-3 Form 
I was just wondering if a pastor opts out of social security withholding, do they need to file a W-3 Form? Thanks!!

interim pastors & form 941 
if an interim gets a 1099, do you have to include their wages on form 941?

Monthly deposit through 941 EFTPS 
Minister has elected to have $200 withheld monthly. When this is done through EFTPS will I need to do this through the church EIN or by the minister's …

monthly payment AND quarterly 941 ? 
We pay monthly payroll taxes for our 8 part-time employees through Quickbooks accounting. Must we also file the quarterly 941 form?

Inclusion of pastor on 941 with other employees 
Do I file a separate 941 for the pastor as he only request w/holding of taxes. He pays his own SS and Medicare tax. How do I show this if I include him …

Additional Withholding 
We have an employee that is requesting that we hold an additional amount from his pay for taxes. We have no problem in doing this. My question is "how …

new pastor completing form 941 
New pastor for one month, but previously working with same organization was not. New pastor now requests voluntary withholding, which I report on form …

941 and Pastor's Requested extra withholding 
Do you include your pastor's request for extra withholding in your 941 as part of income tax withholding?

Pastor Housing Allowance 
Do I report Pastor Housing Allowance in line 2 of the 941 form?

what is the percent for medicare to deposit 
how I calculate the whithheld taxes inorder to deposit

Explain details on 941-PLEASE. 
My questions are numbered according to each part on the form: #2. Is this total gross salaries of all employees? #3. Income tax withheld: would this …

941 with no withholding 
A church (at the minister's request) withheld nothing from the minister's renumeration. W2 and W3 were timely filed. The IRS is requesting copies of prior-year's …

tax form 944 
When completing the tax form 944 does the church pay medicare and Social security for the pastor even though nothing comes from his check? vickey's

Click here to write your own.

Do I file a 941 if all we paid is a housing allowance to the minister? 
This is our first year of operations and we only paid our pastor a housing allowance. Do we still need to file a 941 and applicable state form, even though …

941 
Do I need a 941 for the year 2011 if I am just employing someone in febuary?

Pastor makes request for withholdings 
So after the pastor makes the request for withholdings, does the church just write him or her the check quarterly or send it to the IRS with some special …

Small Church, Small Payroll, W-2's, W-3's, 941's!! 
By God's grace we are starting a brand new church. At present we have four couples, one of which is our pastor and his wife. We have our EIN #, and have …

Filing a 941 for clergy that is exempt from social security and medicare taxes 
I file the IRS 941 form and check and highlight the line that says we are exempt. I even enclose the Pastor's Exempt form, but the IRS is still coming …

941 and w-2 dont match 
Question regarding matching 941s and W-2s: In 2007 the treasurer filed 941s and gave w-2s for the minister and his wife. The minister chose to not …

Can We Stop Using Form 941? 
My church has been using F-941 to withhold SS and Medicare tax quarterly. After I been reading all this wonderful articles, can we stop using F-941 and …

Click here to write your own.

The comments above are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. See full disclaimer.



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