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. Only the employer pays FUTA tax; it is not deducted from the
employees' wages. For information, see the Instructions for Form 940.
For 2001, you must file Form 940 or 940-EZ, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, if you:
- Paid cash wages of $20,000 or more to farmworkers in any calendar quarter in 2000 or 2001 or
- Employed 10 or more farmworkers during at least some part of a day (whether or not at the same time) during any 20 or more different weeks
in 2000 or 20 or more different weeks in 2001.
To determine whether you meet either test above, you must count wages paid to aliens admitted on a temporary basis to the United States
to perform farmwork, also known as H-2(A) visa workers. However, wages paid to H-2(A) workers are not subject to the FUTA tax.
Generally, farmworkers supplied by a crew leader are considered employees of the farm operator for purposes of the FUTA tax unless (1) the crew
leader is registered under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act or (2) substantially all the workers supplied by the crew
leader operate or maintain tractors, harvesting or cropdusting machines, or other machines provided by the crew leader. Therefore, if (1) or (2)
applies, the farmworkers are generally employees of the crew leader.
You must deposit FUTA tax with an authorized financial institution. (If you are subject to the electronic deposit requirements, you must use the
EFTPS system. See section 7.) The deposit rules for FUTA tax are different from those for income, social security, and Medicare taxes. See
Deposit rules for FUTA tax below.
FUTA tax rate.
For 2001 and 2002, the FUTA tax rate is 6.2% on the first $7,000 of cash wages you pay each employee. You may receive a credit of up to 5.4% of
FUTA wages for the state unemployment tax you pay. If your state tax rate (experience rate) is less than 5.4%, you are still allowed the full 5.4%
credit. Therefore, your net FUTA tax rate may be as low as 0.8% (.008). FUTA tax applies, however, even if you are exempt from state unemployment tax
or your employees are ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Forms 940 and 940-EZ take state credits into account.
If you have acquired a business from someone else, you may be able to claim a special credit as a successor employer. See the
Instructions for Form 940.
Deposit rules for FUTA tax.
Generally, deposit FUTA tax quarterly. To figure your FUTA tax, multiply .008 times the amount of wages paid to each employee during the quarter.
When an employee's wages reach $7,000, do not figure any additional FUTA tax for that employee. If the FUTA tax for the quarter (plus any undeposited
FUTA tax from prior quarters) is more than $100, deposit the FUTA tax with an authorized financial institution, or by using EFTPS, explained in
section 7, by the last day of the month following the close of the quarter. If the amount is $100 or less, you do not have to deposit it, but you must
add it to the amount subject to deposit for the next quarter. To help ensure proper crediting to your account, write your employer identification
number, "Form 940," and the tax period the deposit applies to on your check or money order.
If the FUTA tax reported on Form 940 or 940-EZ minus the amounts deposited for the first three quarters is more than $100, deposit the whole amount
by January 31. If the tax (minus any deposits) is $100 or less, you may either deposit the tax or pay it with the return by January 31.
Form 940 or 940-EZ.
By January 31, file Form 940 or 940-EZ. If you make deposits on time in full payment of the tax due for the year, you have ten additional days to
Form 940-EZ is a simpler version of Form 940. You can generally use Form 940-EZ if:
- You pay state unemployment taxes (contributions) to only one state;
- You make the payments to the state by the due date of Form 940 or 940-EZ; and
- All wages subject to FUTA tax are also subject to state unemployment tax.
If you do not meet these conditions, file Form 940 instead.
Once you have filed a Form 940 or 940-EZ, you will receive a preaddressed form near the end of each calendar year. If you do not receive a form,
request one by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM in time to receive it and file when due.
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