Receive our blogs in your inbox

HR tips from industry experts.

Payroll & Taxes

Payroll Tax Reporting Deadlines for 2018

Dana Spinello, CPA
by Dana Spinello, CPA on January 16, 2018

payroll tax deadlinesTax season doesn’t technically begin until the end of January for personal tax returns, but when you’re an employer, you have to pay attention to taxes much sooner. One of the most complicated jobs for business owners is managing the taxes withheld from employees. If you choose to run payroll yourself rather than outsourcing it to a PEO, you have to make sure federal taxes are deposited on time, especially because the IRS has increased the penalties for late filings.

All 2017 payroll tax reports are due January 31, 2018. Those include:

  • Federal income tax withheld from employee paychecks
  • FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) withheld from employee paychecks and the matching amount you set aside to be paid by your company
  • Federal unemployment taxes

The IRS determines deposit dates based on the total gross Social Security and Medicare liability for the twelve-month period ending on the most recent June 30. This is what’s known as the look-back period.

For example, the look-back period to submit employment tax deposits in 2018 would be the 12-month period ending June 30 of 2017.

Business owners can find the amounts for taxes paid during the look-back period by looking at the 941 Form each quarter. If you look at the total tax amounts after adjustments, then add all four quarters together, you’ll have the amount used to determine your tax deposit schedule.

Here are four things you should know when it comes to those schedules:

  1. New employers who do not have employees during the look-back period should deposit monthly (deposit must be made by the 15th day of the following month).
  2. Employers whose total payroll taxes for the look-back period were $50,000 or less should deposit monthly.
  3. Employers whose total payroll taxes for the look-back period were more than $50,000 should deposit semi-weekly (taxes from payrolls paid on Saturday – Tuesday must be deposited by the following Friday, taxes from payrolls paid on Wed-Friday must be deposited by the following Wednesday).
  4. Employers whose total payroll taxes for any semi-weekly period or single day exceeds $100,000 or more must make a next-day deposit.

If you choose not to outsource your payroll, you should also have these three tasks on your radar for the beginning of 2018:

  1. Provide each employee with a Form W-2 and each independent contractor with a Form 1099-MISC (if you paid $600 or more to that person during the year) by January 31, 2018.
  2. File quarterly and annual returns.
  3. Send copies of all of these reports to the appropriate federal agency (Social Security Administration for W-2 forms and the IRS for 1099-MISC forms. 

If you do outsource your payroll to a PEO like FrankCrum, you don’t have to worry about paying taxes. We eliminate your risk by collecting and paying taxes, while ensuring state and federal tax compliance. Call 800-277-1620 ext. 4 to learn more about our payroll tax solutions.

get payroll processing infographic

Dana Spinello, CPA
Dana Spinello, CPA

Dana is the Director of Tax & Unemployment at FrankCrum. Dana has been with FrankCrum since 2010 and oversees tax compliance and unemployment benefit administration. She has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2002. She first realized her aptitude with accounting when she chose to play with her mother’s adult learning accounting class material at age seven. When she’s not working, Dana enjoys traveling, true crime, and reading historical novels.