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Home » Articles » Form 943: What it is and how to file

Form 943: What it is and how to file

Form 943 What it is and how to file

It is no secret that businesses must file taxes in order to remain compliant with tax laws and regulations.

No industry, including the agricultural sector, can escape the process of filing taxes. This is where Form 943 comes in handy.

If you are running an agricultural business, you must understand what Form 943 is and how to file it. This article serves as a guide on accomplishing this form.

What is Form 943?

Form 943, also known as Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, is a tax form used to keep track of the taxes withheld from agricultural employees.

Similar to other forms, this one is used to report federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare withholdings. 

What is Form 943
What is Form 943?

Who needs to file Form 943?

Anyone who works in agriculture must file Form 943. This includes those who work in farming, ranch work, or other related occupations. 

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Other types of agricultural employees include harvesters, soil surveyors, and farm managers. There are two tests to determine if you need to file Form 943:

  1. If you pay $150 or more to a farm worker during the calendar year.
  2. If cash and non-cash wages paid to farm workers total at least $2,500 or more.

If either of these two conditions applies, then Form 943 must be filed.

How to file Form 943

To file Form 943, you will need your Employer Identification Number (EIN), legal name, and business address. You will also need the following information:

  • Total wages paid to agricultural workers
  • Employer’s and employee’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes
  • Amount of federal income tax withheld from employees’ wages
  • Additional Medicare tax withheld

Other requirements may also be asked of you, but only if they are applicable, such as:

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit amounts (if applicable)
  • Tax credit amount for COBRA payments (if applicable)
  • Payroll tax credit amount for the Credit for Increasing Research Activities (if applicable)

Page 1

Once you have all the required information, you can fill out and download the form from the IRS website. Start by writing your name, Employee Identification Number, and address at the top. 

From there, follow the line-by-line instructions to complete the form.

  • Line 1 – Number of employees employed during your pay period
  • Line 2 – Total wages subject to Social Security tax
  • Line 3 – Amount in Line 2 multiplied by 12.4% to calculate Social Security tax
  • Line 4 – Total wages subject to Medicare tax
  • Line 5 – Amount in Line 5 multiplied by 2.9% to calculate Medicare tax
  • Line 6 – Total amount subject to additional Medicare withholding tax
  • Line 7 – Amount in Line 6 multiplied by 0.9% to calculate additional Medicare tax amount
  • Line 8 – Amount of federal income tax withheld from employees
  • Line 9 – Total taxes before adjustment
  • Line 10 – Any applicable tax adjustments
  • Line 11 – Total tax adjustments (Add Line 9 and 10)

Page 2

Similarly, fill out the second page with the correct information.

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  • Line 14 – Any deposits made over the calendar year
  • Line 15 – The difference between between Line 13 and Line 14j (if Line 13 is more than 14j)
  • Line 16 – The difference between Line 14j and 13 (if Line 14 is more than Line 13)
  • Section 17 and Form 943-A need not be filled out unless Line 13 is less than $2,500. Otherwise, fill it out as follows:

    • Check the box and fill out Form 943-A if you are a semiweekly scheduled depositor.
    • If you are a monthly schedule depositor, complete Section 17 and check the box.

Lines 18-27 are sick leave and family leave wages from Worksheets 1 and 2. You may skip this section if you already filled these out.

Page 3

The third and final page must be filled with the following information:

  • Line 28-29 – Any amounts indicated on Line 12c and 14e (if your business is eligible for Employee Retention Credit in the 3rd and 4th quarter, respectively)

Finally, if you would like to have a third-party discuss your return with the IRS, fill in their name, contact number, and personal identification number.

Once the form is completed and all information is correct, sign your name and signature.

When to file Form 943

File 943 must be filed on or before January 31 or February 10 (if taxes are deposited throughout the tax year.) Form 943 must be filed every year until your business closes. 

When to file Form 943
When to file Form 943

To ensure correctness and accuracy, you must reconcile Form 943 with other forms, such as W-2 and W-3.

You can submit Form 943 either electronically or as a hard copy. 

If you do it physically, you can print the form from the IRS website and fill it out manually, but it will take more time and effort. Plus, you will have to deliver it through a reputable mailing service.

Meanwhile, you can use the IRS’ free e-filing system to fill it out digitally using tax software, which will reduce errors when calculating. 

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