Calculate 941 Payroll Taxes

Updated July 10, 2015
How do I calculate 941 payroll taxes
How do I determine my 941 tax deposit liability?
The 941 quarterly withholding tax return collects three different and distinct types of federal taxes. First is the federal withholding tax that goes into your eventual income tax. Second is the Social Security Tax which has two sides. The personal portion which is withheld from payroll, and the business portion which simply doubles the amount owed. Third is the Medicare Tax, which also has two sides and works the same as Social Security.
The Social Security tax percentage is 6.2% while Medicare is 1.45%. When the two taxes a doubled prior to deposit with the Federal Government, the tax percentage total is 15.3%.
The liabilities for the tax are split between the corporation and the business owner or corporate officer in charge of getting the money to the government. The business portions of the Social Security and Medicare are solely a business liability. If you have a corporation that goes bankrupt, then that portion of the 941 deposit tax liability can be discharged.
But the income tax that was withheld from the employee’s checks, and the Social Security and Medicare that was also withheld cannot be discharged in a corporate or personal bankruptcy. These monies were not the property of the corporation. The owner or responsible corporate officer is the person responsible for getting the government its’ money. If this does not occur, then the officer will be held personally liable for this liability. The only way out of this problem is to pay it, or to file an offer & compromise.
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Chris Amundson is the President of Accounting Solutions Ltd., a full service public accounting firm of Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents handling the bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, and audit representation needs of Businesses, Estates, Trusts, and Upper Income Individuals.