Growing your business means you’ve got a to-do list that multiplies, seemingly overnight. Let’s knock a few things off that list, with simple employer reporting guidelines based on employee counts and helpful links to corresponding forms. 

1+ employee(s) and payroll tax reporting

Congratulations! You’re on your way. Here are all the basic federal payroll tax forms you’ll need to file if you have one or more employees. You can also review the 2016 IRS document “Employer’s Tax Guide” – if you dare.

By January 31

File Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (or Form 944 annual return for the smallest employers with $1,000 or less in employer tax liability for the year) for the fourth quarter of the previous calendar year. Due dates for ongoing quarterly reporting for Form 941 are: April 30, July 31, and October 31.

File Form 940 to report Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax (you may file by February 10 if you deposited all tax when due).

By February 28 (January 31 starting in 2017*)

File paper W-2 forms and a W-3 with the Social Security Administration to report employee pay and payroll taxes.

File paper 1099 forms and a 1096 with the IRS for reporting payments to contractors.

File paper Form 8027 with the IRS if your employees have income from tips.

By March 31

Currently you can file forms W-2, 1099 and 8027 electronically, buying you an extra month to meet these reporting requirements.

*Note: The due dates for wage forms will be changing as a result of Public Law 114-113 signed December 18, 2015.

11+ employees and OSHA reporting

No one wants an employee to be injured at work, but it happens. So let’s try to keep your paperwork as painless as possible. Below are links to help determine if your business needs to report to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and if so, the forms you’ll need to download.

First, see if your industry is exempt or partially exempt from OSHA reporting for being a low-hazard industry. If your industry is not listed and you had more than 10 employees at all times during the last year then you are required to report. If your industry was previously on the exemption list but you don’t see it listed, your industry may be newly required to keep OSHA records.  

If you are required to report, you’ll need to download OSHA forms in pdf format. All nonexempt businesses need to keep a yearly log of work-related injuries and illnesses (Form 300), a yearly summary of the same (Form 300A), and complete an injury and illness incident report (Form 301) for every occurrence.  All three forms are included in the pdf, with instructions and phone numbers to call for help.

50+ full-time employees and ACA reporting

At this point, you may be experiencing growing pains. Or just “too-much-time-searching-on-government-websites” pains. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created additional requirements for employers that can be complex. Here’s a topline of what to do and when. Beware: compliance failure fines have just increased for 2016!  

Under the ACA shared responsibility provision, employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalent employees), known as applicable large employers (ALEs), are required to either a) offer minimum essential coverage or b) possibly make an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS. To better understand applicable large employer and minimum essential coverage definitions, visit the IRS ACA site for employers.

If your organization qualifies as an applicable large employer, you’ll need to track data throughout the year to file the following two forms for the prior year, 1095-C for every employee by January 31 and to the IRS with 1094-C by February 28 if mailed or March 31 if filed electronically.

If you don’t offer ACA coverage to at least 95% of full-time employees and dependents, and at least one employee purchases insurance from the marketplace, you’re then liable for a shared employer responsibility payment. To see how this lump-sum payment is calculated, visit the employer payments page on the IRS website.

Note: If you’re a small employer, not an ALE, offering a self-insured plan, you may need to file forms 1094-B and 1095-B, with the same due dates. Please consult with your benefits broker and/or legal counsel to determine if this applies to your organization.

100+ employees and EEOC reporting

You’ve hit the big time, and crossing that 100-employee line comes with a new responsibility. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reporting collects data about gender and ethnicity by job grouping – and it’s mandatory. All data is aggregated and made public to help enforce equal opportunity laws and to help employers self-assess. The deadlines for each of the following categories vary, so simply click on the correct link for your business and put a note on your calendar now.

Federal reporting assistance

We’re here to make it easier than ever to stay on track and simplify employer reporting processes. Speak with one of our sales consultants to find out how we can assist you with payroll taxes and Affordable Care Act reporting for 2016.

Note: Federal regulations change from time to time so be sure to check for the most current regulations as your business grows. Also, be sure to consult with your licensed tax, legal, and/or benefits professional as needed to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.


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