If you intend to e-file 94x forms, before you create the returns, review "Overview - e-Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Forms 94x", and the articles and IRS sources referenced there.
The printed forms must be created before you can e-file a return, but e-filing setup is necessary before you create the form, so that the transmission file is created when you create the form.
Contents of this article:
- Before you start
- 94x Form Creation
- Viewing a Previously Created 94x Form
- Printing Blank 94x forms
Before you start
Setup. Before 94x forms can be created correctly, appropriate setup may be needed. If you have not done any prior setup or if the form is not responding appropriately to what you’re trying to do, see "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x (CWU)" in Related Links below. Verify that setup is complete based on the business needs of your client.
Revising a 94x form. A previously created 94x form cannot be “revised”, but a new version of the form can be created to contain all the correct information.
Three methods for creating 94x forms. In CWU, there are three different places to generate a 94x return. Each of these options directly impacts what values are automatically included on the form.
- Employees > Tax Deposits
Use the Tax Deposits screen to create 94x forms only if you are using CWU throughout the year to enter both employee payroll and federal tax deposits. If you will be using the Tax Deposits screen, go to "Using the Tax Deposits Screen (CWU)" in Related Links below - the remainder of this article does not apply to you.
- Employees > 94X Forms
Use this option to create 94x forms only if you are using CWU throughout the year to enter employee payroll. When the form is generated, it is displayed with key demographic information completed based on entries from the Client Information and 94X Preparers Setup screen (see "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x" in Related Links below). All printed pay records entered using the Live Payroll and ATF Payroll screens with check dates within the quarter selected are included in the totals displayed. Note. If the totals displayed are not as expected, saved employee payroll may not be (a) marked as “printed” or (b) dated with a Check Date within the quarter, or (c) the form may be set up to use the Tax Deposits screen instead (see "Using the Tax Deposits Screen (CWU)" in Related Links below).
- On The Fly Forms > 94X Forms on the Fly
Use this option to create 94x forms if you are not performing payroll services for a client. When the form is generated, all amounts are zero.
The discussion below is based on form creation at Employees > 94X Forms, which incorporates employee payroll data. On-the-Fly creation is similar, but some differences are noted.
94x Form Creation
The discussion below is based on form creation at Employees > 94X Forms, which incorporates employee payroll data. On-the-Fly creation is similar, but all data must be directly entered.
Open the 94X Tax Returns screen at Employees > 94X Forms (or On The Fly Forms > 94X Forms on the Fly).
Options on the 94x Tax Returns screen:
- Review 94X - Click to see a list of previously created 94x returns. For more info, refer to "Viewing a Previously Created 94x Form" later in this article.
- Report Options - Click to open the Form 94X Option screen (this screen is also available at Setup > 94X Form Settings). For more information about this screen, refer to "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x (CWU)" in Related Links below.
- Preparer Selection - If a preparer or third-party designee should be included on the return, select a preparer from the Preparer Selection drop list. (For more information about setting up firm preparers, see "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x (CWU)" in Related Links below.)
To begin return creation,
- Select the 94x tax return needed and click Go to generate the form in data entry.
- On any form generated,
- a command bar is provided at the top:
- Click Reset to clear any edits made on screen and revert entries back to values shown at the time the screen was first displayed.
- Click Save to create the form after verifying all the information displayed and making any changes needed.
- On quarterly reports, the Report for this Quarter value is not shown on screen but appears on the printed form.
- Forms set up for e-filing are watermarked to help prevent filing the paper copies. If you are transmitting as an ERO, CWU also produces Form 8879-EMP for printing and signatures.
- Data entry on a Form 941 screen is discussed below as an example.
- Data Entry Example, Page 1: Form 941, (Part 1)
- Line 1 - The date cutoff for inclusion in these counts is the 12th day of the third month in the quarter. As a result, employees paid only after this day in the third month are not included in the return. This is not a reporting error.
- Lines 2 - 5 - If you believe any of these amounts to be incorrect upon display, verify the following:
- You are not using the On the Fly Forms menu option when you should be using the Employees menu option (and vice versa).
- Any benefits and deductions used for employee payroll are appropriately set up to be taxed or not taxed. For example, a deduction setup without the “SS” box checked means the pay is exempt from Social Security withholding and, as a result, wages totaled for Line 5a will be reduced if employees associated with that deduction were paid that quarter.
- Line 7 - According to the IRS, fraction of cents is a result of rounding differences between how the IRS totals all wages for every employee paid to calculate taxes instead of totaling those wages by employee. To report your tax liability correctly, the difference between the actual amount paid and what is reported on Line 6 should be entered on Line 7. See IRS Form 941 instructions for Line 7 or Publication 15 (Circular E), Section 13.
- Line 10 - With one exception, the amount on Line 10 must equal the Total liability for quarter amount in Part 2 or on the Schedule B. This exception is detailed in Part 2 of Form 941 and in the instructions for Form 941.
- 941 Example, Page 2: Part 2 - Part 5
- Part 2
- Line 14 - If inappropriate “default” values are being displayed, validate CWU is set up properly. See "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x" in Related Links below. Note that the Form instructions provide that the Total liability for quarter amount must be equal to the amount on Line 10 (in Part 1).
- Part 3
- Line 18 - If you are a seasonal employer…. - The seasonal employer box includes an “X” if the client was set up with the Seasonal Employer option checked (Setup > Client Information > Contact Information tab)
- Part 4
- Unless you made a Preparer Selection entry on the 94X Tax Returns screen prior to generating the form ("Select the 94x tax return needed" near the top of this article), this information must be entered manually.
- Part 5
- To set up name, title, and phone values, see "Filing Federal Employment Taxes - Setup to Create Forms 94x" in Related Links below.
- Unless you made a Preparer Selection entry on the 94X Tax Returns screen prior to generating the form ("Select the 94x tax return needed" near the top of this article), “paid preparer” information must be entered manually.
- Schedule B
- The Schedule B is included only for semiweekly depositors with a tax liability of not less than $2,500 for the quarter. Totals on this page auto-fill based on current values in Payroll, Live or ATF. (If recording Tax Deposits, there may be a discrepancy with one or more of these totals as compared with Part 1 or Part 2 amounts.) If a Schedule B is produced and not expected or is expected and not produced, check the value of the client’s Deposit Frequency (Setup > Client Information > Business Information tab).
Viewing a Previously Created 94x Form
Go to Reports > Report Review (or click Review 94X on the 94X Tax Returns screen)
Select Display Saved 94X from the drop list (top, left) where “X” is the last digit of the form number, and wait for the reports list to redisplay.
In the Report Name column, select one or more entries and click OK. If the form(s) do not open, ensure you have a “PDF viewer” application installed and working on your computer.
Printing Blank 94x forms
Go to Tools > Print Blank Forms
The Year should default to the year appropriate for the filing of the form. If it doesn’t, check to be sure you are using the version of CWU to produce the form for the correct year. For example, CWU2015 will not create a tax year 2014 form, but CWU2014 will. Note that forms created in 2014 and prior must be paper-filed. Efiling is currently supported for new and corrected 94X forms in CWU2015 onward.
Select the Form Groups option Federal 94X series, choose a form from the list (scrolling down if needed), and click Go To Form. If it does not open, ensure you have a “PDF viewer” application installed and working on your computer.
For a video overview of how to create the 94X series returns in CWU, see CWU Payroll Filings.