The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminded employers to accurately file their withholding tax returns ahead of the January 31, 2020 deadline. This will help ensure that any refunds owed to their employees will not be delayed.
Employers must remit the personal income taxes withheld from their employees’ wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other similar income and also file a completed Form NYS-45, Quarterly Combined Withholding, Wage Reporting, and Unemployment Insurance Return, by the end of the month.
“Employers have an important responsibility to report the correct amount of tax withheld from their employees, keeping in mind the new filing requirements that went into effect in 2019,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt.
Quarterly filings are now independent of one another, so the fourth quarter return due January 31 is no longer a cumulative total for the year. Employers report only the amount of gross wages and tax withheld for all employees paid during the fourth quarter.
Avoid common errors
To avoid common errors that can result in penalties and delay refunds owed to employees, employers must report:
- The correct federal employer identification number (EIN). Be sure to report the correct employer/payer EIN. If any numbers are transposed or incorrect, the return information may not be posted to the appropriate account.
- All employees. Include all employees employed during the quarter. Be sure to include accurate reporting data for each employee.
- The quarterly total federal gross wages subject to withholding tax, which include wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other similar income. This amount is for the quarter being filed only, not the full year.
- The amount withheld for all jurisdictions. Report the total New York State, New York City, and Yonkers tax withheld (when applicable).
- The correct total of tax withheld. Verify that the total tax withheld reported on both Forms NYS-1 and NYS-45 for the quarter being filed reconciles with the grand total for New York State, New York City, and Yonkers tax withheld (when applicable) for the quarter.
Penalties for late filing or failure to file
Employers who fail to file a completed Form NYS-45 by the deadline face financial penalties of up to $10,000. They also risk delaying any tax refunds owed to their employees. That is because the Tax Department will not issue the refunds until it verifies reported withholding amounts.