Income Tax Withholding FAQ

  1. How do I file income tax withholding returns?
  2. How do I remit income tax withholding payments?
  3. What is my payment frequency for remitting Maine income tax withholding?
  4. What is the due date for income tax withholding payments?
  5. How do I obtain a copy of the current Maine withholding tax tables?
  6. I am a seasonal employer. How do I file and remit Maine withholding tax?
  7. How do I amend my income tax withholding return if I have understated or overstated my tax liability?
  8. I am establishing a new business. How do I register to remit Maine income tax withholding?
  9. I am a New Hampshire employer and have Maine residents working for my business. Am I required to withhold Maine income tax from these employees?
  10. Does Maine require a year-end reconciliation of income tax withholding liability and copies of W-2s and 1099s?
  11. How can I verify if my payroll processor has filed and paid my Maine withholding tax return and payment?
  12. How can I verify if my payroll processor has filed and paid my Maine unemployment tax return and payment?
  13. How do I verify that my payroll processor has been granted a license to provide payroll services in Maine?
  14. Does Maine Revenue Services accept facsimile signatures on tax returns completed by either a taxpayer or by a paid preparer?
  15. What happens if an employer/payer does not furnish Form W-2 or 1099 to a payee?

 

1. How do I file income tax withholding returns?

There are 2 ways to file Form 941ME:

  • I-File – most convenient option for sole proprietors and small businesses to file and pay income tax withholding.
    • https://portal.maine.gov/with/
    • Register then login and follow the onscreen instructions.
    • File income tax withholding returns (quarterly Form 941ME, annual Form W-3ME) and pay withholding taxes.
    • I-File cannot accept amended returns. Amended returns must be filed on paper, see https://www.maine.gov/revenue/ for forms and instructions.
  • Maine Employers Electronic Tax Reporting System (MEETRS) – a convenient filing option for payroll processors and large employers to upload bulk .txt files containing income tax withholding detail (i.e., quarterly returns, annual reconciliation statements and annual information statements). Payments cannot be made via the MEETRS filing option.
    • https://portal.maine.gov/meetrs/
    • Log in (this becomes your ID after the first filing).
    • Select activity and follow on screen directions.
      • Upload files containing forms in electronic format.
      • Quarterly Reports - Forms 941ME or ME UC-1
      • Amended Quarterly Withholding Return
      • Annual Reconciliation - Form W-3ME
      • Annual Wage and Payment Statements - Forms W-2, 1099, and W-2G
    • MEETRS cannot accept payment. Please see FAQ 2 regarding payments.

For questions on filing income tax withholding returns electronically, email the Withholding Unit at withholding.tax@maine.gov or call the Withholding line at 207-626-8475 (select option 4). Maine Revenue Services telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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2. How do I remit income tax withholding payments?

You may make payments electronically either using the Maine EZ Pay internet-based payment system or via EFT (ACH credit or ACH debit). For more information go to Electronic Services and look for the Maine EZ Pay and Electronic Funds Transfer links. To speak with someone about making EFT payments, call the EFT Unit at 207-624-5625.

Note: If your annual payments to Maine Revenue Services for all taxes combined exceed $10,000 per year, you must make payments electronically. Also, employers or non-payroll filers that are registered for Maine income tax withholding must electronically file all original Maine quarterly tax returns and annual reconciliation of Maine income tax withholding. Taxpayers may request waivers from these requirements for good cause. See MRS Rules 102 & 104 for more information.

  • If combined tax liability during the 12-month lookback period ending June 30 of the prior year is $10,000 or more, all Maine tax payments are required to be made electronically, using either the ACH credit method or ACH debit method.
  • Payroll processors must remit all payments electronically regardless of whether their clients are mandated to do so.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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3. What is my payment frequency for remitting Maine income tax withholding?

For tax year 2020, employers or non-payroll filers who reported Maine income tax withholding of $18,000 or more for the 12 months ending June 30, 2019 are required to make payments of income tax withholding on a semiweekly schedule. See FAQ 4 for payment due dates.

Employers or non-payroll filers who reported Maine income tax withholding of less than $18,000 for the 12 months ending June 30, 2019 are required to make payments quarterly. If an employer or nonpayroll filer was previously making semiweekly payments, they will continue on that schedule regardless of the amount reported during the lookback period. Employers or non-payroll filers registered for Maine income tax withholding must electronically file Maine quarterly tax returns. Taxpayers may request waivers from the electronic filing requirements for good cause. See MRS Rules 102 & 104 for more information.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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4. What is the due date for income tax withholding payments?

Quarterly payments are due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter, or the next business day if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. The last quarterly payment for 2015 is due February 1, 2016. For 2016, the due dates are May 2, August 1, October 31 and January 31, 2017. The payment is due on the same day as the quarterly return.

Semiweekly payments are based on payment of wages and are due according to the following schedule:

  • For wages paid on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, remit withholding payment on or before the following Wednesday.
  • For wages paid on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, remit withholding payment on or before the following Friday.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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5. How do I obtain a copy of the current Maine withholding tax tables?

Withholding tables are available on the Maine Revenue Services (MRS) website in the forms section - choose the "Employment Taxes" category. You can also call Maine Revenue Services forms ordering line at 207-624-7894. State your name, address, and request for the Maine withholding tax tables. You should receive this order in two weeks.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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6. I am a seasonal employer. How do I file and remit Maine withholding tax?

There is no seasonal filing frequency for Maine income tax withholding. An employer with an active withholding account must file quarterly even if there were no employees or zero withholding. If you are registered to remit income tax withholding and do not have a withholding liability during a quarter, file a return showing zero liability. Payment frequencies are quarterly and semiweekly. Refer to FAQ 3 to determine your payment frequency.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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7. How do I amend my income tax withholding return if I have understated or overstated my tax liability?

Download Form 941-ME in the forms section - choose the “Employment Taxes” category. All corrections must be made on amended returns and filed for quarterly periods only. Amended returns can also be obtained by calling Maine Revenue Services at 207-626-8475 between 8AM and 5PM weekdays, holidays excepted. If you are using a touch tone phone, press 4.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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8. I am establishing a new business. How do I register to remit Maine income tax withholding?

You can download a registration application on the general forms page or order an application by calling 207-624-7894. You may also register electronically at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/suwtaxreg/index. Call Taxpayer Assistance at 207-624-9784 between 9AM and 4PM weekdays, except holidays, for assistance in filling out the registration application. Employers or non-payroll filers registered for Maine income tax withholding must electronically file Maine quarterly tax returns. Taxpayers may request waivers from this requirement for good cause. See MRS Rules 102 & 104 for more information.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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9. I am a New Hampshire employer and have Maine residents working for my business. Am I required to withhold Maine income tax from these employees?

Possibly. You are required to withhold Maine income tax if: 1) You maintain an office in Maine or transact business in Maine; 2) You make payments to individuals (resident or nonresident) who are taxable to Maine; and 3) You are required to withhold federal income tax from those payments. If you are not required to withhold Maine income tax, but have made payments which are taxable to Maine, you may, as a courtesy, withhold and remit Maine income tax. If you decide not to withhold Maine income tax, those individuals must make estimated tax payments each quarter. Estimated tax forms can be obtained by downloading in the forms section or by calling 207-624-7894. For information on registering to withhold Maine income tax, refer to FAQ 8.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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10. Does Maine require a year-end reconciliation of income tax withholding liability and copies of W-2s and 1099s?

Yes. All employers and nonwage payers who withhold Maine income tax from payments to employees or other recipients must file a year-end reconciliation, Form W-3ME. Unless you have a waiver, Form W-3ME must be filed electronically. If you have a waiver from the electronic filing requirement, you may download the form in the forms section.

Maine Revenue Services does not accept paper copies of payee statements (Forms W-2 and 1099). Employers and payers issuing 250 or more Forms W-2 or 1099 must file such forms with MRS electronically using the Maine Employers Electronic Tax Reporting System (“MEETRS”). For more information about electronic filing of Forms W-2 and 1099, see MEETRS File Upload Specifications & Instructions. Employers and payers issuing fewer than 250 Forms 1099 may submit data either directly to MRS or to MRS through the IRS under the Combined Federal/State Filing Program, but are not required to submit. All forms W-2G are required to be filed directly with MRS. See MRS specifications for Forms 1099 and W-2G on the Electronic Services page.

Maine Revenue Services requires Forms 1099 and W-2G to be submitted electronically directly to MRS, or via the Combined Federal/State Filing Program when possible.

Magnetic media and paper copies will not be accepted.

If you are unable to access the specifications online, call the withholding unit at 207-626-8475, select option 4.

Rev. 01/23/2020

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11. How can I verify if my payroll processor has filed and paid my Maine withholding tax return and payment?

Call MRS at 207-626-8475, select option 4. Please have your Maine withholding account number available.

Rev 01/23/2020

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12. How can I verify if my payroll processor has filed and paid my Maine unemployment tax return and payment?

Call the Department of Labor at 207-621-5120. Please have your Maine unemployment account number available.

Rev. 11/7/11

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13. How do I verify that my payroll processor has been granted a license to provide payroll services in Maine?

Call the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation at 207-624-8527. For more information, visit their web site at https://www.maine.gov/pfr and select Office of Consumer Credit Regulation.

Rev. 11/7/11

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14. Does Maine Revenue Services accept facsimile signatures on tax returns completed by either a taxpayer or by a paid preparer?

Any return filed with Maine Revenue Services must contain a declaration that the statements contained in that return are true and made under penalties of perjury. Maine Revenue Services generally follows IRS filing procedures requiring that taxpayers affix an original signature to tax returns; that is, they must personally sign their Maine return. Facsimile signatures are not acceptable. Maine Revenue Services allows paid preparers to affix their signature as the return preparer consistent with IRS Notice 2004-54/IRB 2004-33, 209, which permits paid preparers to sign returns by rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as signature pen), or computer software program (i.e., a computer program that prints the preparer's name on the signature line of the form). When a tax return is filed electronically by a taxpayer or with the taxpayer's permission, the filing of that return constitutes a sworn statement by the taxpayer, made under penalties of perjury, that the tax liability shown on the return is correct. No additional signature is required. See 36 M.R.S. § 193(1).

Rev. 01/23/2020

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15. What happens if an employer/payer does not furnish Form W-2 or 1099 to a payee?

A person who furnishes a false or fraudulent statement or fails to furnish a statement commits a civil violation for which a fine of $50 for each failure may be imposed.

Rev. 12/23/13

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