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The Q1 941 - Yet another sign the Pandemic is Over?

As a cost accounting software publisher that also provides an in-house Payroll option, one of the more vexing challenges going back to the start of the pandemic in 2020 has been trying to keep up with the ever-changing 941 "Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return". The changes were almost exclusively due to the pandemic-related relief measures & changes in tax reporting requirements. The form quickly expanded from its traditional two-page format to three pages. Some of the additional information on the form pertained to the COVID-19 crisis including fields for the employee retention credit, & qualified sick & family leave, among other fields that were added in response to the pandemic and the related hardships employers were facing in 2020, 2021, & 2022.

In 2023, the changes to the form became less frequent, & only two revisions were made during the calendar year. 

The latest 941 (Q1 2024) has returned to the familiar pre-pandemic two-page format and gone are the aforementioned fields that have now become deprecated. Although the new form was not made official by the IRS until late March, we were able to add it to the SYMPAQ Payroll module & make it available to our users in advance of the April 30 filing deadline. Interestingly, the 941 was excluded from the eFile mandates that took effect in 2023 for the 1099, W2, & several other tax forms  While we promote our products as capable of meeting the byzantine requirements for DCAA compliance, we stay alert for any changes that the IRS promulgates to its tax forms that are supported in our software offering as part of the broader feature set. As we return to a semblance of normalcy & the pandemic has faded from the news, it could be that we will return to a world where the only significant change to the 941 year-over-year is the year itself that is imprinted on the form. As a software publisher with many better options for product development & innovation, we certainly hope so!

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