Form 941: Compliance Challenges and Intensified IRS Audits

Avoiding Errors That Trigger Costly Penalties and Documenting a Solid Case for Examiners

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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Course Materials

This teleconference will help tax executives and advisors anticipate pitfalls and sharpen data-gathering, compliance and reporting with federal employment taxes and prepare for the next IRS audit focused on Form 941.


Collection and enforcement of federal employment taxes is a current priority for the IRS. The quarterly Form 941—reporting employee numbers and pay, withholding amounts, taxable Social Security and Medicare wages and advance earned income credit payments—is the cornerstone.

As company tax specialists can attest, Forms 941 and 941X shift much of the administrative burden to employers. Prior return errors on a 941 can be quite difficult to fix without suffering penalties. Tax specialists also must stay attuned to IRS auditors' red flags on Form 941 exams.

Corporate tax departments are well advised to review their data gathering, recordkeeping and compliance efforts for Form 941 and related forms to minimize future errors, to understand the correction process, and to devote additional resources to planning for potentially demanding audits.

Listen as our panel of experienced tax advisors helps you better anticipate and plan for the most problematic aspects of Form 941 compliance and audit preparation.



  1. Fundamental aspects of Form 941
    1. Number of employees and total pay for period
    2. Withholding amounts for period
    3. Taxable Social Security and Medicare wages for period
    4. Adjustments for sick pay/tips/group term life insurance
    5. Advanced earned income credit payments to employees
    6. Form 941X
      1. Corrections to errors to Social Security tax credits and exemptions, wages, etc.
    7. Exceptions
      1. E.g., seasonal and agricultural employers
    8. Special rules
  2. Wage, back-up and non-resident alien withholding rules
    1. Deposit requirements
    2. Return due dates
  3. Process to correct errors on prior returns
  4. Potential interest and penalties for non-compliance and late filings
  5. Getting ready for IRS employment tax audits
    1. Current documentation requirements


The panel will explore these and related topics:

  • Understanding the rules: Withholding and deposit requirements, form deadlines, exceptions, and special rules.
  • Anticipating compliance pitfalls: Common calculation mistakes, easy-to-miss payments, and the variety of potential penalties.
  • Correcting errors on prior returns: Navigating the often complex process to get a refund.
  • Getting ready for payroll tax audits: Gathering your documentation, reconciling deductions, verifying independent contractor classifications, etc.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Patrick Haggerty
Patrick Haggerty

Patrick A. Haggerty, EA

He more than 30 years of tax preparation experience and is an enrolled agent at the Treasury level. He also represents...  |  Read More

Dold, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Thomas Dold

Groom Law Group

Ms. Dold's client work includes all tax aspects related to employee benefits including IRS filings and audits,...  |  Read More

Kurt Lawson
Kurt Lawson

Hogan Lovells

His practice emphasizes issues including employment tax that are related to executive compensation, tax-qualified...  |  Read More

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