How to Fill Out Form 941 of the Federal Tax Return

If you own a business that employs other people, the taxman wants to hear from you on a regular basis. Form 941 is a tax return for employers that must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service each and every quarter. The form, which is due on the last day of the reporting quarter, details how many employees you have, the wages paid to them, and the amount of taxes you withheld. The form also calculates the quarterly tax liability of the business, which must be paid when the return is filed.

Type or print your Employer Identification Number, business name, and address in the spaces provided in the form. Check the box for the quarter you are reporting under the “Report for this Quarter” heading.

Collect payroll information for the quarter, including your number of employees, their combined wages and sick pay, and withholding amounts. Add this information in the directed areas of lines 1 through 3. Add any taxable Social Security wages or tips and any taxable Medicare wages or tips in the appropriate subheadings of line 5. Add the lines together and enter the total at line 6. This number represents your total taxes before adjustments.

Enter any allowable adjustments related to third party sick pay or values reported with fractions of cents on lines 7 through 9. Add lines 6 through 9 together and enter the total on line 10. This number shows your total taxes after adjustments.

Add any payments or Cobra premium assistance payments at lines 11 and 12. List the total amount at line 13.

Subtract line 13 from line 10 to determine the amount of tax due. Enter the value at line 14. If line 13 is more than line 10, enter the overpayment at line 15. Check the "Apply to next return" or "Send a refund" box to indicate how you would like the overpayment to be processed.

Sign and date the form at the signature line, adding your printed name and title in the adjacent box. Mail the form and any required payment to the IRS office for your area.


  • Pay the amount due in full when you file to avoid a penalty.

About the Author

Fiona Todd has been a writer since 2001. With work appearing in a range of media outlets, including "The Seattle Times" and "Static Magazine," she enjoys sharing her expertise in real estate, pets, gardening and travel. Todd holds an associate degree in communications from the University of Phoenix, and a real estate brokers license in Washington State.