Status report: Forms 941 migration to MeF platform — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Status report: Forms 941 migration to MeF platform

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Your first-quarter 2015 Form 941 is due by the end of this month. If you e-file, the IRS has some important news for you: It is permanently retiring its two current e-filing options—the 94x E-file Program Method or the PIN-based 94x Online E-file Program Method—now called legacy systems, by the end of this year. In their place, the IRS is shifting all payroll returns to its Modernized e-File platform, or MeF.

Timeline for MeF. MeF is a web-based system that uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. XML is an industry standard used when identifying, storing and transmitting data, rather than the proprietary data transmission formats used by the older e-file programs. The timeline for the transition to MeF is as follows:

  • Reporting agents and other transmitters who filed at least 5,000 forms last year should complete their migration to MeF by July 31, 2015, the due date for the second-quarter return.
  • Submit all current and prior 941s through MeF by the second quarter. The IRS is putting in place parameters that will allow it to restrict returns submitted though its legacy systems. This ensures that the MeF migration requirement is met.

Reprieve: You may continue to use the PIN-based Online E-file Method for all four 2015 forms.

  • Reporting agents and other transmitters who filed fewer than 5,000 forms last year should complete their migration to MeF by Nov. 2, 2015, the due date for the third-quarter return.
  • File all fourth-quarter 2015 forms (due Feb. 1, 2016) through MeF.

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