Depositing and Reporting Withheld Taxes: Illinois
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor
- Illinois employers are assigned either a semiweekly or monthly payment schedule based on their look-back period; this is the one-year period ending on June 30 of the immediately preceding calendar year. All employers must file quarterly withholding tax returns. Penalties are imposed for failure to file returns. See Deposit Thresholds and Schedules.
- Certain employers must make payments of withheld taxes electronically using the semiweekly payment and quarterly return schedule in the following quarter, the remainder of the year and the subsequent year. Employers not required to file electronically are encouraged to do so. See Electronic Deposit Requirements.
- Employers with 250 or more employees are required to register and electronically transmit Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement. Electronic and Magnetic Media Form W-2 Reporting Requirements.
Employers are required to file Form IL-941, Illinois Withholding IncomeTax Return, on a quarterly basis unless instructed otherwise by the Department of Revenue (DOR).
Starting with the 2017 Form IL-941, Step 4 of the form includes a line for verifying compliance with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act, Step 7 includes a section for entering required withholding information for each month of the quarter, and on LIne C employers must enter the amount of income tax withheld based on payroll dates.
Deposit Thresholds and Schedules
Illinois employers must deposit withheld taxes according to an assigned schedule.
Effective January 1, 2017, employers are assigned to either a semiweekly or monthly payment schedule based on their look-back period; this is the one-year period ending on June 30 of the immediately preceding calendar year.
However, employers that have been assigned to a monthly payment schedule based on their look-back period must deposit semiweekly if they withheld more than $12,000 during the previous calendar quarter. These deposits must be made electronically.
The following are the two payment and return schedules assigned to Illinois employers:
|Semiweekly Payment and Quarterly Return Schedule|
|Must pay electronically on:||File return electronically or use Form IL-941 by:|
|Wednesday, for amounts withheld on the preceding Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and on
Friday for amounts withheld on the preceding Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
|The last day of April, July, October and January.|
Employers that withheld more than $12,000 in a quarter must submit payments electronically on a semiweekly basis from that point forward.
|Monthly Payment and Quarterly Return Schedule|
|Pay electronically or use Form IL-501 by the 15th of each month for amounts withheld in the preceding month.||File return electronically or use Form IL-941 by the last day of April, July, October and January.|
New employers, and employers that withheld $12,000 or less during the look-back period, are assigned to the monthly payment and quarterly return schedule. However, an employer that withheld more than $12,000 during the previous calendar quarter must begin to deposit under the semiweekly deposit schedule and make the deposits electronially.
Any time a due date falls on a weekend or state-recognized holiday, the DOR adjusts the due date to the next business day.
Employers that fail to file a quarterly return or the annual transmittal form for wage and tax statements required by law will incur a penalty of 2% of the tax shown on the return, up to a maximum of $250. If the return is not filed within 30 days after notice of the failure to file, an additional penalty is imposed of $250, or 2% of the tax, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $5,000. +35 ILCS 735/3-3.
Electronic Deposit Requirements
If an employer's withholding exceeds $12,000 during a quarter, the employer must make the payments electronically using the semiweekly payment and quarterly return schedule in the following quarter, the remainder of the year and the subsequent year. Electronic payments must be made through MyTax Illinois. Illinois encourages any employer not required to make payments electronically to do so.
Annual Reconciliation Forms and Filing Deadlines
Illinois does not require employers to file an annual reconciliation return.
Electronic and Magnetic Media Form W-2 Reporting Requirements
Employers with 250 or more employees are required to electronically transmit Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, to the DOR.
Starting with tax year 2014 filings, employers that are required to file Forms W-2 electronically for federal purposes must file copies of the forms with the DOR using the same electronic media by February 15 of the following year, or by the extended due date of the federal information return. This due date also applies to payroll providers that file payroll returns and complete Forms W-2 for employers of any size.
Employers with fewer than 250 employees are not required to submit Forms W-2 electronically, but they are strongly encouraged to do so. Employers that choose to do so must file the forms with the DOR no later than March 31, but are encouraged to file them by February 15.
Employers may transmit their files either using the Electronic Transmittal Upload page on the DOR website, or by downloading the HttpsPost Utility program from the website and using it to upload the file. The state does not accept pdf files or Excel spreadsheets containing Form W-2 data.
Employers must use the Social Security Administration's EFW2 and EFW2c format.
Electronic filing instructions are included in Publication 110, Form W-2 Electronic Transmittal Requirements. See also Publication 131, Withholding Income Tax Payment and Filing Requirements.
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