How to Correct Form 941

By Kathryn Cuff
Mistakes happen.
pencil and papers image by Alexey Klementiev from

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 941 records payroll tax liability and deposits. The IRS requires the form to be filed quarterly to reconcile the federal tax deposits each employer makes. The Form 941-X corrects any errors found on the Form 941. Common errors include incorrect wage and tip amounts, classification of taxable wages and tips, and math miscalculations. The IRS calculates learning about the law or Form 941-X will take about 30 minutes and preparing and sending the form will take 47 minutes.

Download the Form 941-X from and the instructions from Print a blank copy or save to edit on the computer.

Enter the Employer Identification Number (EIN), Name, Trade Name (if any), and Address on the 941-X. Refer to the incorrect Form 941 to select the type of return (941 or 941-SS), the quarter and the calendar year on the Form 941-X. Enter the date the errors were discovered.

Select either line 1 (Adjusted employment tax return) or line 2 (Claim) of Part 1. Select Line 3 of Part 2. Skip to Part 3 if the amounts are underreported. Answer line 4 if Part 1, line 1 is the process (adjustment of over-reported amounts) or answer line 5 if Part 1, line 2 is the process (refund or abatement claim).

Enter the company name (not trade name), EIN, correcting quarter and calendar year on the top of pages 2 and 3.

Fill out Part 3 on page 2. Use the correct information from the payroll records for Column 1. Use the incorrect Form 941 for Column 2. Use a calculator to figure the difference between Column 1 and 2. Enter the figure in Columns 3 and 4, unless otherwise noted. Calculate the tax correction for lines 8 through 10 and enter in Column 4. See Form 941-X Instructions for lines 12, 13, 16, and 17a. Enter subtotal of lines 7 through 14 in Column 4 of line 15, and enter total of lines 15 through 17 in Column 4 of line 18.

Check lines 19 and 20 in Part 4 on page 3, if applicable. Enter a statement of how the corrections were determined in the box provided in line 21. If filled out on the computer, save, print and sign Part 5. Otherwise, go directly to Part 5 and sign.

Save a copy of the completed form. Send the original upon completion to the IRS address based on the state in which the business resides. Refer to page 3 of the Form 941-X instructions to determine the correct address. Do not send a copy of the incorrect Form 941 along with the Form 941-X and do not attach the Form 941-X with the next quarter's Form 941.

About the Author

A jack-of-all-trades, Kathryn Cuff has published articles for the business world for over five years. She has also been awarded for fiction and nonfiction works in the Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition. Cuff is currently working on a Database Management Certificate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Washington College.