Lookback Period Definition

A lookback period is the time period used to calculate the total employment taxes paid by an employer. It shows the IRS the employer’s tax liability and helps the employer determine whether these taxes must be paid on a semi-weekly or monthly basis.

Lookback Period Extended Definition
An employer will need to follow a deposit schedule based on the total tax liability reported on Form 941 during a specific time period known as the lookback period.

By identifying the lookback period, employers can determine whether they are semi-weekly or monthly depositors. It also tells the IRS about the employer’s tax liability for the full year.

An employer’s lookback period is the 12-month time frame ending June 30 of the previous year, which is divided into four quarters.

Related Article
What’s Your Deposit Schedule? Look At Your Lookback Period for Forms 941 and 944

Last Updated By

Rachel Blakely-Gray | Jun 15, 2023

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