Learn how to file quarterly tax forms.

As an employer, you are required to file tax forms on a regular basis. Some forms are filed quarterly, whereas others are filed annually. In this article we  explain how to cover quarterly forms, which include the following:
  • Federal Form 941, Employer's Federal Quarterly Tax Return
  • State unemployment insurance (SUI) form
  • State income tax (SIT) form

All states require quarterly SUI filings. Most (but not all) states that have state income taxes require quarterly SIT filings. In a few states, there are additional quarterly filing requirements for state disability insurance (SDI) or workers' compensation (WC) taxes.

Filing methods

Please note! We don't automatically file forms on your behalf. When a form is due, you need to log in to your Online Payroll account, and either submit the electronic filing, or view, print, and archive the manual filing.

In general, quarterly tax forms can be filed electronically or manually. You can e-file Form 941 through your Online Payroll account if it's active for federal electronic services. In most cases, you can also e-file your SUI and SIT forms if your account is active for state e-services. In a few states where e-filing isn't available, we'll provide you with a signature-ready paper form or a worksheet to prepare the official form provided by the state tax agency.

To check whether we offer e-services in your state, see Electronic services offered by states for more details.

Due dates

Form 941 is due on the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, the 1st quarter Form 941 is due to the IRS on April 30. If the form is e-filed, it must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time two banking days before the due date. If the form is manually filed, it must be postmarked by the due date to be timely.

Many, but not all, state quarterly forms have the same electronic and manual filing deadlines as for Form 941. In some states, an e-filing must be submitted three to five banking days before the due date instead of two banking days. In some states, the form is automatically filed with the quarterly tax payment.

Tax payments

Online Payroll requires that all tax payments be made before the corresponding form can be generated or filed. (The Tax Liability Report will show a tax owed amount of zero for that tax type.) If there's a positive amount for the tax owed, you've underpaid the tax. In that case, we'll prompt you to make one or more additional payments. Once those payments are approved, you can file the form.

If there's a negative amount for the tax owed, you've overpaid the tax. This can occur for a variety of reasons. If the overpayment is valid, you'll need to resolve it by marking it for refund, or applying to a future liability period. Once the overpayment has been resolved, you can file the form. (For more information, see Resolve a tax overpayment.)

Deadline reminders

During the month in which quarterly form filings are due, we'll remind you to submit the forms by sending you email reminders and by placing items on your payroll To Do list. For example, an item in the It's time to file forms section of your To Do list will look like the following:

Form filing due on 01/29/2019 5:00 PM Pacific: 941 (4th quarter of 2018)

Non-941 filer

Most employers are required to file quarterly Form 941. However, there are some exceptions:
  • For some very small businesses, the IRS may assign a 944 (annual) filing schedule instead. These businesses file Form 944 at the end of each year. (If you've received an IRS notice to file Form 944 and your payroll account is currently set to a 941 filing schedule, please contact Payroll Support for assistance.)
  • Agricultural employers file annual Form 943. (Online Payroll doesn't support Form 943.)
  • Household employers file annual Form 1040 Schedule H. (Online Payroll no longer supports this form since household accounts were discontinued.)

Penny adjustments

In rare situations, you may not be able to file a form due to penny (or fractional penny) discrepancies in the tax liabilities and payments. If this occurs, please contact Payroll Support for assistance. We'll enter a rounding adjustment to remove the discrepancy, and you'll be able to file the form. (For more information, see Why do I occasionally notice penny differences?)

Correct and amend forms

  1. Select Taxes & Forms.
  2. In the Quarterly Forms section, select View Archived Forms.
  3. Select the link for the submitted form.
  4. Select Delete, then confirm deletion.

QuickBooks Online Payroll

  1. From the left menu select Taxes, then Payroll Tax.
  2. On the Quarterly Forms section, select View Archived Forms.
  3. Select the link for the submitted form.
  4. Select Delete, then confirm deletion.

If there's no Delete button, you can't undo the submission. (We generally can't delete it for you either.) In that case, you'll need to prepare a corrected or amended filing.

Online Payroll doesn't support amended or corrected forms. If you need to file a correction, you're responsible for acquiring, preparing, and filing the appropriate amended or corrected form. (For example, you can download a blank correction Form 941-X and instructions from the IRS website.) You do have access to the original and updated versions of the actual form to assist in preparation of the amended or corrected form. The original version is available on the Archived Quarterly Forms page. To update the updated version:

Intuit Online Payroll

  1. Select Taxes & Forms, then Quarterly Forms.
  2. Select the form.
  3. Select the period from the drop down, then select View.

QuickBooks Online Payroll

  1. From the left menu, select Taxes, then Payroll Tax.
  2. Select Quarterly Forms.
  3. Select form.
  4. Select the period from the drop down, then select View.