Payroll taxes include those you must withhold from your employees’ paychecks and those you must pay as an employer. These taxes are generally assessed and updated yearly by the federal and applicable state and local governments. Whereas tax rates tend to stay constant throughout the year, your payment due dates vary by tax and administering agency.
FIT and FICA Taxes
You pay the federal income tax and Social Security and Medicare taxes you withhold from your employees’ wages -- plus your own share of the latter two taxes -- to the Internal Revenue Service according to the dates the agency dictates. Generally, employers pay on a semiweekly or monthly basis. Whether you are a semiweekly or monthly depositor depends on your “look-back” period, which is based on when you must file your tax returns. For instance, if you must file quarterly, your look-back period starts on July
1 and ends on June 30, as of 2013. If you reported $50,000 or less in taxes for the look-back period, you must make monthly deposits. If you reported more than $50,000, you must make semiweekly deposits.
Federal Unemployment Tax
Federal unemployment tax is an employer-paid tax that you deposit quarterly to the IRS. Your deposits are due by the last day of the first month that comes after the quarter end. For instance, for the first quarter, which includes January, February and March, your federal unemployment tax is due by April 30. Your deposits must typically be more than $500; if not, carry the balance over into the next month and pay it in the quarter that you accumulate at least $500. In the fourth quarter, if the deposit is $500 or less, you can make the deposit when you file your federal unemployment tax return by Jan. 31.