Electronic deposits required in 1999

Doctors will face new payroll tax-deposit penalties in 1999, warns John K. McGill, a tax attorney and CPA. Practitioners who withheld more than $50,000 in employment taxes (i.e., Social Security, Medicare, federal unemployment, and federal income-tax withholdings) during calendar year 1997 will be required to make these tax deposits electronically, beginning January 1, 1999. Doctors who fail to comply with the electronic tax-deposit rules face a penalty equal to 10 percent of the taxes deposited

Ron Combs, Associate Editor

Doctors will face new payroll tax-deposit penalties in 1999, warns John K. McGill, a tax attorney and CPA. Practitioners who withheld more than $50,000 in employment taxes (i.e., Social Security, Medicare, federal unemployment, and federal income-tax withholdings) during calendar year 1997 will be required to make these tax deposits electronically, beginning January 1, 1999. Doctors who fail to comply with the electronic tax-deposit rules face a penalty equal to 10 percent of the taxes deposited.

"Most doctors have continued to file the paper Form 8109 and make their deposits at their local banks, since no penalty applied to their practice," says McGill. "In 1999, thousands of doctors must change their operating procedures to begin electronically depositing these taxes, or they will face penalties of $5,000 or more."

All doctors should have received at least one written notification regarding these rules, along with an electronic federal-tax payment (EFTPS) instruction booklet. Doctors who have not received this information should call (800) 555-4477 (southern states) or (800) 945-8400 (northern states).

McGill adds that doctors looking to comply with the new law have two choices. "If they bank with a qualifying financial institution, that bank can transmit payroll taxes for the doctor electronically under the ACH Credit Method. The second option is to have the doctor`s practice or payroll service initiate the transaction through one of two banks acting as agents for the IRS - First Chicago in the North, or Bank of America (NationsBank) in the South - using the ACH Debit Method.

"Since these new rules will affect thousands of dental practices for the first time, now is the time for doctors to obtain the additional information they need to begin electronic depositing on January 1 and thus avoid the stiff new penalties."

Clipping and referring to Dental Economics` comprehensive 1999 Tax Calendar will help you file tax deposits, payroll taxes, and estimated payments in a timely manner.

January 15

The final quarterly installment of 1998 estimated individual income tax (including self-employment tax) is due. You have a choice: either pay now or skip this payment, file your Form 1040 and pay the balance by February 1. Make a note of the payment due because you receive no bills from the IRS to jog your memory. If you paid installments last year, use the preprinted-installment vouchers showing your name, address, and Social Security number that are part of the Form 1040 ES worksheet that should have come with your tax-return forms. You can obtain these vouchers from your local IRS office.

Complete Form 8109 (Federal Tax Deposit-Withheld Income and FICA Taxes), and deposit the taxes if you are a monthly depositor under the IRS tax-deposit rules. Under these rules, if the practice`s total withheld income and FICA taxes for the 12 months ending June 30, 1998, was $50,000 or less, the practice must deposit taxes withheld during a calendar month by the 15th day of the following month. If the total exceeded $50,000, the practice must make semiweekly deposits. Under the semiweekly deposit rules, if a payroll is paid on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, the payroll deposit is due by the following Wednesday. If payroll is paid on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, the payroll deposit is due by the following Friday. Note: Beginning January 1, 1999, semi-weekly deposits must be made electronically to the IRS. They can no longer be deposited directly to your bank using Form 8109 without being subject to a 10 percent penalty.

February 1

Today is the deadline for furnishing 1998 Form 1099 information returns (Copy B) to recipients of $10 or more in dividends/interest or $600 or more in rents, interest, royalties, commissions, fees, medical-savings account distributions, prizes, and other compensation to nonemployees. Your IRS Center must receive Copy A of Form 1099, with the accompanying 1096 Transmittal Forms, by March 1.

Each employee must be furnished with a W-2 Form showing wages paid and taxes withheld in 1998 - that`s Copy B for the employee`s Form 1040 and Copy C for his or her records, as well as copies of the forms for any state or city returns. By March 1, you`re expected to file with the Social Security Administration the original copy of all W-2 Forms (Copy A) that you gave to your employees, along with a W-3 Form (Transmittal of Income and Tax Statements).

Reminder: If you paid more than $1,000 during the 1998 calendar year to a housekeeper, babysitter, or other household employee, you are liable for Social Security taxes and required to file Form 942 (Employer`s Quarterly Tax Return for Household Employees). Alternatively, the Social Security taxes (FICA) and Federal Unemployment taxes (FUTA) due on any domestic helper`s wages can be computed and paid on the doctor`s individual tax return (Form 1040), rather than having to file Form 942 each quarter and Form 940 by February 1.

Using Form 940, doctors are required to file an annual Federal Unemployment tax return for practice salaries paid in 1998 by this date. If you made timely deposits in full payment of the tax, this deadline is extended to February 10. Are you liable for FUTA taxes? You are if your wage payments topped $1,500 in any calendar quarter last year, if you employed one or more persons on at least one day of each of 20 or more weeks during the last year, or if you pay a household worker $1,000 or more in a calendar quarter.

Here`s a memory jogger if you chose not to pay the last installment of your estimated 1998 federal income tax on January 15. File a complete Form 1040 and pay the balance of your actual 1998 income tax and the balance of your 1998 self-employment tax.

File Form 941 to pay the balance of last quarter 1997 contributions to Social Security, plus the balance of Social Security and income taxes withheld from October 1 to December 31. This filing deadline is extended to February 10 if you made deposits on time in full payment of your Social Security tax and withholding liabilities during the preceding quarter. While it may not be an IRS requirement, it`s always a good idea to prepare and keep a reconciliation of the wages, Social Security taxes, and income taxes withheld as shown on the W-2s with the quarterly 941 Forms and your books. Retain Copy D of all W-2s.

February 15

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for January. (See January 15 note.)

Ask for a new W-4 Form from each employee who claimed total exemption from withholding during the prior year. If no form is received from the employee, begin withholding income tax from the employee`s paycheck, effective February 15.

March 1

File Copy A of Form 1099, with the accompanying 1096 transmittal form, with your IRS Service Center. File Copy A of all W-2 forms given to employees, along with a W-3 transmittal form, with the Social Security Administration.

March 15

Did you practice as a corporation in 1998? A corporation`s federal income-tax return Form 1120 or 1120S is due two and a half months after the end of its fiscal year. March 15 is the due date if your corporation`s year ends December 31; otherwise, simply transfer this entry to the proper date. You may request an extension to file until September 15, but all corporate income taxes must be paid with the request for extension.

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for February. (See January 15 note.)

File Form 2553 with the IRS if your corporation wants to be taxed as an S corporation effective January 1, 1999. If Form 2553 is filed after this date, S treatment will become effective January 1, 2000.

April 15

File your federal individual income tax return, Form 1040, if you haven`t already done so or received an extension to August 16. Pay any balance you owe on your income tax for 1998. Complete Schedule SE and pay any remaining balance of your 1998 self-employment tax, if you are unincorporated.

If in a partnership, report your share of 1998 partnership earnings from Schedule K-1 on your Form 1040. Also, make sure the partnership return- Form 1065 - is filed by this date.

Today is the deadline for filing your first quarterly estimated payment to cover your 1999 federal income tax and your self-employment tax liabilities, if unincorporated. Using Form 1040 ES, pay one-fourth of your estimated federal income tax and one-fourth of your estimated 1999 self-employment tax.

Calendar-year corporations pay one-fourth of estimated tax. Fiscal-year corporation payments are due in the 4th, 6th, 9th and 12th months of the corporation year, using worksheet Form 1120-W.

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for March. (See January 15 note.)

File Form 1041, trust or estate income tax return, if your trust or estate year ends December 31. Otherwise, your return is due three and a half months following the close of your year.

April 30

File Form 941 to pay the balance of your first quarter 1999 contribution to Social Security, plus the balance of Social Security and income taxes withheld from employees` salaries during the same period. This filing deadline is extended to May 10 if you have made deposits on time and also have made full payment of your Social Security and federal withholding liabilities during the preceding quarter.

May 17

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for April. (See January 15 note.)

If you practice as an unincorporated partnership or S corporation and selected a tax year ending other than on December 31, file Form 8752 and pay the resulting required payment.

June 15

For unincorporated doctors, the second installment of your 1999 federal tax is due. Using Form 1040-ES, remit payment of one-fourth of your estimated income tax and one-fourth of your 1999 self-employment tax. If you are unincorporated and your taxable income so far this year has varied by 10 percent or more from your original estimate, you should adjust your estimated tax payment accordingly. If incorporated, your federal income tax payments should be adjusted through your withholdings.

Calendar-year corporations are to pay one-fourth of their estimated tax by this date. Fiscal-year corporation payments are due in the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months of your corporation`s year.

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for May. (See January 15 note.)

July 15

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for June. (See January 15 note.)

August 2

File Form 941 to pay the balance of your second quarter 1999 contribution to Social Security, plus the balance of Social Security and income taxes withheld from employees` salaries during the same period. This filing deadline is extended to August 10 if you made timely deposits in full payment of your Social Security and withholding liabilities during the preceding quarter.

File appropriate Form 5500 with the IRS if your practice sponsored a retirement plan or flexible spending account (cafeteria) plan in 1998 that operated on a calendar year. If your plan used a fiscal year, the return is due on the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.

August 16

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for July. (See January 15 note.)

File your federal individual income tax return, Form 1040, if you requested an automatic four-month extension by April 15. Pay the balance owed on your 1998 income and self-employment taxes.

September 15

If unincorporated, the third installment on 1999 federal tax is due - one-fourth of estimated income tax and one-fourth of 1999 self-employment tax. Adjust payment if taxable income varies 10 percent or more from last estimate.

Calendar-year corporations are to pay one-fourth of their estimated tax. Fiscal-year corporation payments are due in the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months of your corporation`s year.

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for August. (See January 15 note.)

Now would be a good time to arrange a meeting with your tax adviser to plan year-end strategy.

File 1998 Form 1120 (regular) or Form 1120S (S corporation) return if you practiced in a corporation during 1998 and received an automatic six-month extension to file your federal corporate income-tax return on or before March 15 and paid any tax due.

October 15

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for September. (See January 15 note.)

November 1

If you are practicing as a corporation, make sure your total individual income-tax withholding for the year, plus any quarterly payments you made, will add up to at least 100 percent of the taxes you expect to owe for 1999. If your totals fall short, be on the safe side by increasing your withholding for the remainder of the year.

File Form 941 to pay the balance of your third quarter 1999 Social Security, plus the balance of Social Security and income taxes withheld from employees` salaries during the same period. This deadline is extended to November 10 if you made deposits on time in the full amount during the preceding quarter.

Ask for a new W-4 Form for each employee whose withholding allowance will change for the next calendar year.

November 15

Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for October. (See January 15 note.)

December 15

Calendar-year corporations pay one-fourth of estimated tax. Fiscal-year corporation estimated payments are due in the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months of the corporation year. Complete Form 8109 and deposit taxes due for November. (See January 15 note.)

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