Employee Payroll: What payroll tax forms are essential for business owners?

Payroll tax forms require expertise that helps to ensure that you are doing everything accurately. If you aren’t filling out details carefully, the penalties could range from $50 to hundreds of dollars. Thus, one of the biggest struggles is finding what these forms are and how to fill them out.

Payroll tax forms: Vital forms that you need:

If you are planning to file taxes, there is a list of forms required by the IRS to fill out. However, these forms include everything from paystub details, wages, deductions to tax withholdings. But it’s also vital to understand that payroll regulations are different in every state. According to the stats, the IRS fined $6.8 in the account of the tax penalties. However, it means that you have to understand payroll tax forms to avoid penalties. So, here is the list of all required tax forms.

Form I-9: 

Before discussing other forms, it is vital not to forget form I-9. If someone is walking into the organization for the job, then it is required by law to have this form. The I-9 is developed by “US citizenship and immigration services that ensure the legal working eligibility of any person. Thus, the employee should submit this form during the first three days of employment. Above all, present the paper with other documents like tax residency, US passport, or green card.

W-2 form: 

In simple words, Form W-2 is a form that entails the tax and wage statement. However, if you are running an organization, then it is required by law to submit W-2 for each employee during the calendar year. After filling out the W-2 form, don’t forget to send a copy to the employees and social security administration. Apart from this, keep one copy of the W-2 in your record for each year.

Form W-3: 

It is proof of wage and tax payments. But the only difference is that it entails the summarized information rather than the W-2 form. Thus, it is required by law to send one copy of the W-2 and W-3 documents to the SSA. Apart from this, send one copy to your employees each year. There are the following things that are included in the W-3 form:

Compensation Taxes Medicare wages
Social security wages Federal income tax And other things like this


But ensure that all of the above things are matching with the W-2 payroll tax form. The SSA offers the flexibility to submit the W-3 form by mail or electronically.

Form 941: 

The payroll tax form number 941 entails quarterly federal tax returns, payroll taxes, and employee wages. However, the main aim of this form is to report federal income taxes, FICA taxes to the IRS at the end of each term. It is vital to submit the 941-forms whether you are a seasonal employer or anything else. If we go into detail, then there is the following information included in form 941.

  • Wages that employer is paying to the employee
  • Withheld federal income tax
  • Social security and Medicare taxes with separate portions of employee and employer
  • Additional withheld taxes

Apart from this, you will include social security adjustments, Medicare taxes, insurance premiums, and sick pay. You can submit this form anytime in the year because it comes with multiple due dates. But don’t forget that the IRS compares the 941 conditions with W-3 for accuracy, so always add the correct detail.

Form 940: 

Form 940 is a form that helps to report annual federal unemployment tax returns of the employer to the IRS. But many organizations don’t feel the need to submit 940 forms because of tax exemption. The employer only needs to submit this form once a year. Thus, you can send it to the IRS via mail or online means.

Form 944: 

It is another payroll tax form that works for the employer’s annual federal tax return. It works perfectly for the small organizations that don’t want to submit documents quarterly and want to do it annually. For instance, small businesses whose annual liability, Medicare taxes, and federal income tax liability are less than $1,000 can submit it per year. But if your business doesn’t meet this requirement, then you have to do this quarterly.

Form 1095-B & 1094-B: 

These are the two payroll tax forms that go hand in hand. Form 1095-B aims to report the employee health coverage. Mainly, it is to ensure that whether the company is offering a self-insured health plan or employee will buy the coverage from the insurer. However, you need to prepare this form for each employee, whether part or full time, and send a copy to the IRS. On the other hand, the 1094-B payroll tax form is the payment of health coverage information returns. In short, the 1094-B summarizes the 1095-B by including all details.

Other vital payroll tax forms:

Apart from the forms mentioned above, there are many other documents that you have to understand before filing tax returns. So, here is the small list of remaining forms.


Form name Serving purpose
W-4 Determine tax amount to withhold from employee’s wages
1095-C The employer offered health insurance coverage
1094-C Transmittal of employer-provided insurance with a summary of form 1095-C
EIN It’s like a social security number for business
State tax number Helps state to assess business tax details


Thus, if you plan to manage payroll tax forms by yourself, carefully review all requirements. For instance, you can go to the IRS main website to find out what will work for you. But before doing anything, read your state and local tax-related laws. Above all, don’t forget that deadlines matter for the IRS, so avoid penalties by submitting forms on time. Moreover, if you don’t have time and energy, it is preferred to take the services of someone professional.