All About the Deposits: Head to the Bank Like Oprah & Ellen

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Talk show legends and media moguls Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres recently sat down on Ellen’s Show Me More YouTube series and answered some “burning questions” while sitting in the hot seat. Interesting facts such as Oprah’s favorite comfort food and feel-good activity were revealed on Ellen’s most recent episode.

The most intriguing topic that emerged from their hilarious conversation was when the two celebrities discussed how they haven’t had to go to a bank in years. Unable to remember their PIN numbers, Ellen does remember the last time she made a deposit (too many years ago to recall) it was for a $5,000 check, in which she was extremely proud of.

Oprah chuckled and then revealed that she hadn’t stepped foot in a bank since 1988. She then stated that she recently made a trip to her bank to deposit a check…for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Well, it was actually a check for TWO MILLION DOLLARS…I guess she lost count (LOL). “Yeah, I just wanted to go there just to do it. I stood in line, just to do it…it felt fantastic!” Oprah said regarding her trip.

Although Oprah & Ellen rarely have to make any type of deposit at a bank, business owners who file Form 941 quarterly are required to make deposits for their employee’s social security and Medicare taxes annually. Here’s some insight on Form 941 and its necessary deposits:

Form 941 Overview

Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, is used to report employment taxes. If you own and operate a business with employees, you will need to file IRS Form 941 quarterly. You, the employer, are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee’s salary. This form is also used to calculate the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare tax quite often. 

Deposit Schedules

“You get a deposit…and you get a deposit…Everybody gets a deposit!” 

There are two deposit schedules (monthly or semiweekly) that determine when you deposit social security and Medicare taxes as well as withholding federal income tax. These schedules will tell you when a deposit is due after a tax liability arises such as a pay period. This deposit schedule has to be determined before the beginning of each calendar year and must be based on the total tax liability reported during a lookback period.

Deposit Rules for Form 941

Deposit schedules for Form 941 are based on the total tax liability which was reported on your Form 941 during your four-quarter lookback period (beginning July 1 and ending on June 30).

Although Form 941 is filed quarterly, you can pay your total Form 941 tax liability when you timely file Form 941 if:

  • Your total Form 941 tax liability for either the current quarter or the preceding quarter is less than $2,500 and
  • You don’t incur a $100,000 next-day deposit obligation during the current quarter. 

If you’re not sure that your total liability for the current quarter will be less than $2,500, and your liability for the preceding quarter was not less than $2,500, you should make deposits using the semiweekly or monthly rules to avoid any failure to deposit penalties.

Federal Tax Deposits

All federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer, which is usually made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

If you prefer to have a third party handle the payment on your behalf, such as a tax professional, financial institution, or payroll service, this can easily be done with your consent.

Deposits made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System must be submitted by 8 p.m. EST the day before the date the deposit is due. If you fail to submit a deposit through the payment system on time, a same-day wire payment can be accepting.

Form 941 Lookback Period

As previously stated, the lookback period begins July 1 and ends June 30. If you reported $50,000 or less of Form 941 taxes for the lookback period, you’re a monthly schedule depositor; if you reported more than $50,000, you’re a semiweekly schedule depositor.

Next Steps

Filing Form 941 doesn’t have to be a hassle. The process is actually quick and stress-free with the help of ExpressTaxFilings, the market-leading IRS authorized e-filing program. It will guide you through the filing process to complete your form in a matter of minutes online. Have some questions or want to make sure you’re processing everything correctly? Feel free to contact us for assistance. We’re available Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.684.4751. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com.

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