IRS Releases Revised Instructions for Form 941 for Tax Year 2020

Robert Beck
July 14, 2020

The IRS recently released revised instructions for Form 941 which is used by employers to report quarterly federal withholding. Several changes have been made to the instructions and form in response to COVID-19 and the passage of the CARES Act. As some of these changes were made prior to the end of the First Quarter of 2020, employers are advised to use the January 2020 revision of Form 941 for the First Quarter of 2020 and to use the April 2020 revision for subsequent quarters.

Several additional lines have been added to the form to account for the changes required under the CARES Act. Line 5a for reporting qualified sick leave wages and 5a(ii) for reporting qualified family leave wages were added to account for credits for in social security tax withholding. Lines 11b and 11c along with line 13c have been added for the new credit for qualified sick and family leave wages. Lines 11c and 13d have been added for the employee retention credit. Additionally, lines have been added to show the deferred amount of the employer share of social security tax, if any, totals for deposits, deferrals, and refundable credits, total advances from filing Form(s) 7200, and total deposits, deferrals, and refundable credits less the advances.

To facilitate the calculations for the new lines, the IRS included Worksheet 1. Instructions are provided on the use of the worksheet in calculating credit for employee retention, sick and family leave, and employer share of social security tax for the quarter after reductions by credits.

To view the complete instructions for Form 941, click here.

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Robert Beck

Robert Beck is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos Compliance. As part of the Regulatory Analysis team, his main areas of focus are state and federal tax withholding, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Robert is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and received his J.D. from New England Law | Boston and his B.A. in Justice from University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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