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Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return

IRS Form 944 is designed to assist small business owners who are eligible to file their employment taxes (Social Security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes) annually instead of quarterly. In general, most business owners must complete Form 941, unless the IRS sends notification that the business should be using Form 944 to file and pay federal payroll taxes.

Who Should File Form 944?

To reduce the burden on small business owners, the IRS has simplified the rules for filing and reporting employment taxes. If your business files $1,000 or less in payroll taxes per year, the IRS will likely request that you use Form 944.

Business owners who have previously used Form 941, but believe they will not exceed the $1,000 annual threshold may also contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-4933 by April 1 of the current year to request the change. Owners may also submit a written request (postmarked by March 15) to:

Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
Ogden, UT 84201-0038


Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service,
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0038

Check page 9 of the Instructions for Form 944 to determine which address to use based on the state where you reside. If you don’t receive written notice to use Form 944, you must continue to use Form 941 when filing your employment taxes. Conversely, if you are directed to use 944, you may not submit Form 941.

Ineligible Employers

The following employers are not eligible to use Form 944.

  • Household employers. If you only employ household employees you cannot use this form.
  • Agricultural employers. Business owners with only agricultural employees are ineligible.
  • Employers who did not receive notification. Do not use this form without written consent from the IRS.

For any questions regarding your correct filing requirement, please contact the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 or 267-940-1000 (toll call).

How to Complete Form 944

Enter your name, address, and Employer Identification Number (EIN) in the spaces provided. If you’re a sole proprietor, you would enter your name on the name line and your legal business name on the trade name line. If you don’t have a different business name, leave the trade name line blank. Be sure to include your EIN at the top of pages 2 and 3, as well.

  • Do not enter dollar signs ($) or decimal points. Dollar amounts are entered to the left of the preprinted decimal point. Cents are reported to the right of it. Do not round up! Always include the cents amount, even if it’s zero. (.00).
  • Any data field with a value of zero should be left blank, except for line 9.
  • When entering negative amounts, use a minus sign or parentheses.
  • Enter your name and EIN on all pages.
  • For all attachments, be sure to include your name, EIN, “Form 944,” and tax period.
  • If you have multiple sheets, please staple everything together in the upper left corner.

Be sure you complete all three pages and sign the form (page 3). Failure to do so may delay the processing of your return. Full instructions for completing Form 944 can be found online at IRS.gov.

Form 944 Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a New Business Owner, Can I Use Form 944?

Once you complete Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, the IRS will send you a list of the employment tax forms you are required to file. If you’d like to use IRS Form 944, be sure to indicate the highest number of employees you expect to have in the next 12 months and check the box on line 12 of Form SS-4. Do not file Form 944 unless you receive written notification that you are eligible to use this in place of Form 941.

How Can I Request a Form Change?

To request a change from Form 941 to Form 944, you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 on or before the first day of the month that your Form 941 is due. You may also submit a written request to the appropriate address listed above. Be sure it’s postmarked on or before the 15th day of the month before your first Form 941 is due. Once your request to change forms is approved, you cannot go back to Form 941 without contacting the IRS for approval.

When  Should I File Form 944?

Unlike the 941, you only need to file the 944 once per year. It is due by January 31, after the end of the calendar year. You have an additional 10 days to file if you paid in full by making deposits throughout the year.

Can I Submit My Employment Tax Form Electronically?

Yes! E-filing is secure, accurate, and saves you time. You’ll also receive confirmation within 24 hours. There are two options for e-filing your Form 944:

Even if you prepare the forms on your own, you may have to pay a fee to file your forms electronically. Should you decide to mail in your forms, be sure to use the correct address for your location.

Need Help?

If you need assistance completing Form 944, please contact Tax Defense Network at 855-476-6920. We offer affordable business tax preparation services.