Don’t Slow Your Employees’ Tax Refunds

Avoid common errors when completing Form NYS-45 or risk delays for your employees

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminded employers to file their withholding taxes accurately and on time so they don’t delay any refunds owed to their employees.

Employers must remit the personal income taxes withheld from their employees’ wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other similar income by filing a completed Form NYS-45, Quarterly Combined Withholding, Wage Reporting, and Unemployment Insurance Return, by January 31.

“Employers need to know that any error or failure to file this return on time could significantly delay any tax refunds owed to their employees,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We’re sharing some of the most common mistakes we see on Form NYS-45 to help you file a problem-free return.”

Avoid common errors

For the 4th quarter return, due January 31, businesses must report annual wage and withholding information. The most common employer errors, which can delay refunds, are:

  • Reporting an incorrect federal employer identification number (EIN). Employers must be careful to report the correct employer/payer EIN. If any numbers are transposed or incorrect, the return information may not be posted to the appropriate account.
  • Failing to report all employees. The annual filing must include all employees reported at any time during the year—no matter the duration of their employment or the quarter in which they were employed.
  • Reporting 4th quarter wages only. Employers must report the annual total federal gross wages subject to withholding tax, which include wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other similar income. This amount should be for the full calendar year, not just the 4th quarter.
  • Neglecting to report withholding for all jurisdictions. Employers must report the total New York State, New York City, and Yonkers tax withheld (when applicable).
  • Reporting an incorrect total for the annual tax withheld. Employers must verify that the total tax withheld reported on both Forms NYS-1 and NYS-45 for all four quarters reconciles with the grand total for New York State, New York City, and Yonkers tax withheld (when applicable).

Penalties for late filing or a failure to file

Employers who fail to file a completed Form NYS-45 by the deadline face financial penalties of up to $10,000. They also risk delaying any tax refunds owed to their employees; that’s because the Tax Department will not issue the refunds until it verifies reported withholding amounts.