Check the appropriate box on line 15 to tell us which option you select. If you don’t check either box or if you check both boxes, we will generally apply the overpayment to your next return. Regardless of any box you check or don’t check, we may apply your overpayment to any past due tax account that is shown in our records under your EIN. If you pay by EFT, credit card, or debit card, file your return using the Without a payment address under Where Do You File, earlier. To figure your total taxable FUTA wages, subtract line 6 from line 3 and enter the result on line 7. For more information on payments exempt from FUTA tax, see section 15 of Pub.

Every quarter, you must figure how much of the first $7,000 of each employee’s annual wages you paid during that quarter. Although Form 940 covers a calendar year, you may have to deposit your FUTA tax before you file your return. If your FUTA tax liability is more than $500 for the calendar year, you must deposit at least one quarterly payment.

SUTA and FUTA Taxes

Use Form 940 to report your annual Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. Together with state unemployment tax systems, the FUTA tax provides funds for paying unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. Don’t collect or deduct FUTA tax from your employees’ wages.

To do this, add the amounts from Lines 16a, 16b and 16c, and subtract this sum from the number on Line 12, which you calculated previously. This result is your FUTA tax liability for the fourth quarter (Line 16d). If, however, Line 12 is 800 and Line 13 is 500, you’d enter the difference (300) on Line 15 instead. You’d have an overpayment, and you can choose to apply this overpayment to your next return or have it refunded to you. However, the tribe must have participated in the state unemployment system for the entire year and be compliant with prevailing unemployment laws.

According to the example above, your business pays the $105.60 in FUTA taxes on January 31 of the following year since you did not collect $500 during the year. Before we calculate FUTA tax, let’s identify the organizations and people how big companies won new tax breaks from the trump administration whose wages are subject to it. Learn more about how to file your small business tax return online. Here’s where you report how much FUTA you’ve already paid over the course of the year, and how much you still have left to pay.

  • Often, when your business pays state unemployment tax, your FUTA tax rate is reduced.
  • Section 6011 requires you to provide the requested information if the tax is applicable to you.
  • While business owners often hire an accountant or other tax professional to deal with these matters, having a basic understanding of the tax system can head off a lot of problems.

Employers who think they may be in a credit reduction state should plan accordingly for the lower credit. The IRS includes the credit reduction states, the applicable credit reduction rates, and an example in the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 940), Multi-State Employer and Credit Reduction Information. The Instructions for Form 940PDF also have information about the credit reduction and deposit rules. Any increased FUTA tax liability due to a credit reduction is considered incurred in the fourth quarter and is due by January 31 of the following year. The reduction schedule is 0.3% for the first year the state is a credit reduction state, another 0.3% for the second year, and an additional 0.3% for each year thereafter that the state has not repaid its loan in full.


A company is subject to FUTA taxes on the first $7,000 of payments made to an employee excluding exempt payments. The FUTA tax rate is 6%, and employers often receive a credit of up to 5.4% against this tax. Household employers, or people who hire workers for their home, such as a maid, a housekeeper, a babysitter, or a nanny, must pay FUTA taxes on the wages paid if they meet certain requirements. FUTA taxes are imposed on employers, so regular employees do not have to worry about this type of tax. FUTA taxes are federal unemployment taxes, while SUTA taxes are unemployment taxes paid to the state. These differ from FICA taxes, which are federal payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security.

What Are FUTA Taxes?

The federal government is entitled to recover the unpaid loans from the states by reducing the amount of credit available to them. Even if the employer records $1,500 or more in a single quarter and the other quarters fall below the threshold, the employer will still be required to pay the FUTA tax. As of 2021, the FUTA rate stands at 6.0%, and employers can claim a credit of up to 5.4% of their taxable income if they also pay state unemployment taxes. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), with state unemployment systems, provides for payments of unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a Federal and a state unemployment tax.

Credits & Deductions

FICA taxes are unaffected by the number of withholding allowances claimed by an employee, unlike federal and state taxes. You simply multiply an employee’s gross wage payment by the applicable tax percentage to determine how much you must withhold and how much you must pay as the employer. FUTA is paid by every employer—nothing gets deducted from the employee’s wages. But there are a couple other requirements to meet if you’re going to be eligible. Each state has its own unemployment tax too—SUTA stands for State Unemployment Tax Act, which funds state unemployment insurance. We know there’s a lot that goes into preparing and filing payroll tax forms.

How to Calculate FUTA Tax Liability

However, companies that are exempt from state unemployment taxes do not qualify for the FUTA credit. If an employer paid UI taxes to more than one state, then it must check all of those states on Schedule A (Form 940), whether the states are credit reduction states or not. Additionally, for states that are credit reduction states, employers must enter the FUTA taxable wages the employer paid in that state, even if the employer paid wages in only one state.

If you’re strapped for time or concerned about filing accuracy, professional tax prep assistance could be a great option. Remember this is for full-time employees only—if you have a mixed bag, you’ll need to calculate them separately and combine them. While revenue from FUTA goes toward unemployment insurance, revenue from FICA goes toward Social Security and Medicare benefits. However, if you have FUTA tax liabilities, you will need to make deposits quarterly.

In addition, if one or more employees worked part of a day in 20 or more different weeks during the year, the company they work for is subject to FUTA. FUTA is a payroll tax implemented on just an employer to help fund federal unemployment programs. FICA is a payroll tax implemented on both the employer and employee that provides funding for Medicare and Social Security. While FUTA is used to fund unemployment benefits, Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes are different in several ways. FICA taxes are paid by both the employer and the employee. The tax is split evenly between the two, though self-employed individuals are usually responsible for both portions.

How to pay unemployment taxes

The worker is a taxable employee if the relationship has no such boundaries. Another way to distinguish an independent contractor from an employee is by the availability of their services. An independent contractor isn’t tied to one company and can advertise their services and work for others. An employee can’t do this unless they’re also working outside the company as an independent contractor for another business. While it’s every small business owner’s nightmare to let go of any employees, sometimes layoffs are the only way to keep the business afloat. Add that to the $300 carried over from Q1, and you end up owing $600.

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