Filing of Employment Returns Up Slightly in 2017, IRS Says

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By Michael Trimarchi

About 30.7 million employment tax returns were received by the Internal Revenue Service in fiscal 2017, a 0.7 percent increase from about 30.5 million forms in fiscal 2016, according to the agency’s latest data book, released March 29.

About 12.7 million employment tax returns were filed electronically, up 9 percent from 11.6 million in fiscal 2016, the IRS said.

The forms filed included 940, Employer’s Federal Unemployment Tax Return; 941, Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return; 943, Employer’s Tax Return for Agricultural Employees; 944, Employer’s Annual Tax Return; and 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax.

The data book is a snapshot of IRS activities for the fiscal year. The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, and the IRS budget and workforce.

The agency collected about $1.1 trillion in employment taxes during that time period, up from $1 trillion in the year-ago period, the data book said.

States with the largest number of employment tax returns filed were California, 3.8 million; New York, 2.3 million; Florida and Texas, 2.2 million each, and Illinois, 1.3 million, the IRS said. The states with the largest number of electronically filed returns were California, 2 million; New York, 1.1 million; Florida, 988,337; Texas, 863,018; and Illinois, 512,820.

In fiscal year 2017, the agency continued its ongoing effort to fight tax-related identity theft. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division completed 524 criminal investigations of tax-related identity thefts, down from 743 in the year-ago period. Investigations may cross fiscal years. An investigation initiated in one fiscal year may not be indicted, convicted, or sentenced until a subsequent fiscal year, the agency said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Trimarchi in Washington at mtrimarchi@bloombergtax.com. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Baer at mbaer@bloombergtax.com.

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