Form 940

Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return

The IRS Form 940 is an essential document for many employers across the United States. It serves a crucial role in the federal tax system, particularly concerning unemployment taxes. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the Form 940, ensuring employers can fulfill their tax obligations with confidence and accuracy.

What is a 940 Form?

The 940 Form, also known as the Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, is a critical tax document for businesses. It calculates the amount of unemployment tax an employer owes to the federal government. The purpose of the FUTA tax is to fund unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs.

Components of the Form

  • Employer Identification Information: This includes the employer’s name, address, and EIN (Employer Identification Number).
  • FUTA Tax Calculation: This section details the calculation of the FUTA tax based on the wages paid to employees.
  • Adjustments: Adjustments for state unemployment contributions and other factors are accounted for in this part of the form.

Who Needs a 940 Form?

Employers must file a 940 Form if they:

  • Paid $1,500 or more in wages to employees in any calendar quarter.
  • Had one or more employees for at least some part of the day in any 20 or more different weeks in the year.

Obligations and Deadlines

The 940 Form is due annually, with the typical deadline falling on January 31st of the year following the reported tax year. However, if all FUTA taxes were paid on time, the deadline extends to February 10th.

How to Read and Understand 940 Form

Understanding the 940 Form involves familiarizing oneself with several key components and terms, such as FUTA tax rate, taxable wages, and state unemployment contributions. Each part of the form guides the employer through calculating their unemployment tax liability.

How to Get Your 940 Form

Employers can download the Form 940 directly from the IRS website: Download Form 940

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Incorrect calculation of taxable wages: Ensure all taxable wages are reported accurately.
  • Missing deadlines: Mark the filing deadline (January 31st) on your calendar to avoid late filing penalties.

940 Form and Tax Filing

The Form 940 plays a significant role in a business's annual tax filing process, determining how much an employer contributes to federal unemployment funds. Timely and accurate filing can prevent penalties and ensure compliance with federal regulations.

FAQ Section

  1. Is the FUTA tax rate the same for every employer? The standard FUTA tax rate is 6.0%, but credits for state unemployment tax contributions can reduce this rate.

  2. Can I e-file Form 940? Yes, the IRS supports e-filing for the 940 Form through authorized e-file providers.

  3. What happens if I miss the filing deadline? Missing the deadline may result in penalties and interest charges on any unpaid tax.

  4. Do I need to file Form 940 if I'm the only employee in my business? Generally, sole proprietors without employees don't need to file Form 940, but specific circumstances may vary.

  5. How can I correct a mistake on a previously filed Form 940? Employers should file Form 940-X, Adjusted Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return or Claim for Refund, to correct errors.


Filing the 940 Form is a vital part of fulfilling your tax obligations as an employer. Understanding its purpose, how to accurately complete it, and meeting the filing deadline ensures compliance and supports the funding of unemployment benefits. While this guide aims to demystify the process, consulting with a tax professional for complex situations is highly recommended.

For further reading and to download the Form 940, visit the following official resources:

By staying informed and proactive, employers can navigate the complexities of the 940 Form with confidence, contributing to the broader effort of supporting workers during times of unemployment.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.