An employer is any person, corporation or organization for whom an individual performs a service as an employee. Your responsibilities as an employer are to:
- Register with the Department of Revenue (see Registering for State Trustee Taxes and Certain Excise Taxes) to withhold income taxes from your employees' wages;
- Remit those taxes to the Department of Revenue on time and using the appropriate method;
- Obtain from each employee a completed federal Form W-4, Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate (and forward it to the Internal Revenue Service), and if necessary, a completed * Form M-4, Massachusetts Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (and forward it to the Department of Revenue);
- Report all newly hired and reinstated employees and independent contractors to the Department of Revenue within fourteen days of hire or reinstatement (see New Hire Reporting on the Department of Revenue's Child Support Enforcement website);
- Withhold tax and/or from the paychecks of your employees or independent contractors, and remit those funds to the Department of Revenue, if directed to do so by a court or the Department of Revenue;
- File quarterly reports of wages paid to each employee who resides or is employed in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment (DUA). This filing is done online using DUA's QUEST system;
- Provide each employee with a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement by January 31, or within 30 days if employment terminates before the close of the calendar year, showing the total amount of wages paid, total Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld and the amount of federal and Massachusetts income tax withheld for the prior year. If required, file copies of all W-2s with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. You must also file your W-2 information with the Social Security Administration (SSA) - check the SSA website for details, and due dates.
- Register with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and fulfill the obligations for state employment security taxes;
- Purchase workers' compensation insurance before employees start working for you, (visit the Department of Industrial Accidents website for additional information);
- Contact the Internal Revenue Service obligations for withholding federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.
*An M-4 is necessary when the employee wishes to claim a different number of withholding exemptions for Massachusetts withholding purposes than he or she is claiming federally, because of differences in the number of exemptions allowed.