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 or Maine Revenue Services?

 

1. How do I file income tax withholding returns?

MRS Rule 104 generally requires all employers and non-wage payers to electronically file Maine income tax withholding returns and annual reconciliation forms.

File Form 941ME electronically by using the Maine Tax Portal (MTP).

The MTP is an easy and convenient method to file, pay, and manage your Maine income tax withholding returns and is available for use by sole proprietors, small businesses, large employers, and payroll processors.

  • Use the Create a Username option to set up your MTP account. You will need your Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number and EITHER a Letter ID from a MTP Invitation Letter OR the tax due from one of your entity’s past three filings.
  • Once you have set up your MTP account, you can file returns, make payments, update your entity’s contact information, submit bulk withholding files, and so much more.
  • For helpful information on the many features of the MTP, including Instructional Videos, visit https://www.maine.gov/revenue/portal.

Other electronic filing options available until May 31, 2023. Note that both options listed below will be discontinued as of June 1, 2023.

  • I-File – for sole proprietors and small businesses to file and pay income tax withholding.
    • 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/tax-return-forms for forms and instructions.
  • Maine Employers Electronic Tax Reporting System (MEETRS) – 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.
    • 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 payments.  Please see Question 2 below regarding payments.

For questions on filing income tax withholding returns electronically, email the Withholding Unit at withholding.tax@maine.gov 

Revised: February 13, 2023

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2. How do I remit income tax withholding payments?

You may make payments electronically either using the Maine Tax Portal (ACH debit) or via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (ACH credit).  For more information, see Electronic Services and click on Maine Tax Portal and/or Electronic Funds Transfer.  Email withholding.tax@maine.gov

Note:  If your annual payments to MRS 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.

Payroll processors must remit all payments electronically regardless of whether their clients are mandated to do so.

Revised: February 13, 2023

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

Employers and non-payroll filers who reported Maine income tax withholding of $18,000 or more for the 12-month lookback period ending June 30 of the prior calendar year are required to make payments of income tax withholding on a semiweekly schedule.  See Question 4 below for payment due dates.

Once an employer or nonpayroll filer is required to begin making semiweekly payments, they must continue on that schedule regardless of the amount reported during the lookback period. 

Employers and non-payroll filers who reported Maine income tax withholding of less than $18,000 for the 12 months ending June 30 of the prior calendar year are required to make payments quarterly. 

Employers and 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.

Revised: February 9, 2023

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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 a holiday.  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.

Revised: May 11, 2022

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

Withholding tables are available on the MRS Forms Page - choose the "Employment Taxes" category. 

 

Revised: May 11, 2022

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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 Question 3 above to determine your payment frequency.

Revised: January 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?

File your amended income tax withholding return electronically using the Maine Tax Portal.  Check the applicable box to indicate the return is amended.

Note that all corrections to quarterly withholding returns (Form 941ME) must be made on the amended return with respect to the quarterly period you are correcting.

If you need to amend a quarterly return after the end of the year, you may also need to file an amended annual reconciliation return (Form W-3ME.)

Revised: February 22, 2023

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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 MRS General Forms Page

You may also register electronically on the Maine Tax Portal (click on Register a Business.) 

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.

Revised: February 9, 2023

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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 from the MRS Forms Page. For information on registering to withhold Maine income tax, refer to Question 8 above.

Revised: February 9, 2023

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

Form W-3ME

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 using the Maine Tax Portal (MTP). Note that you will need to log in to your MTP account.  If you have a waiver from the electronic filing requirement, you may download Form W-3ME from the MRS Forms Page.

Forms W-2 and 1099

Employers and payers that are required to electronically file Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration or Forms 1099 with the IRS must also file these forms electronically with MRS using the Maine Employers Electronic Tax Reporting System (“MEETRS”) or via the Combined Federal/State Filing Program.  All forms W-2G are required to be filed directly with MRS.  For more information about electronic filing of Forms W-2 and 1099, see the MEETRS File Upload Specifications & Instructions

MRS does not accept magnetic media or paper copies of payee statements (Forms W-2 and 1099). 

 

Revised: February 22, 2023

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

Return and payment history for your Maine withholding account can be viewed on the Maine Tax Portal

 

Revised: February 9, 2023

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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.

Revised: November 7, 2011

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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.

Revised: November 7, 2011

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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 MRS must contain a declaration that the statements contained in that return are true and made under penalties of perjury.  MRS 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.  MRS 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).

Revised: May 11, 2022

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

A person who furnishes a false or fraudulent statement or fails to furnish a statement to a payee (36 M.R.S. § 5251-A) or Maine Revenue Services (36 M.R.S. § 5242) commits a civil violation for which a fine of $50 for each failure may be imposed.

Revised: February 9, 2023

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