Wage Withholding


Montana Wage Withholding Tax

Every employer shall, on or before February 28 of each year, file with the Montana Department of Revenue a wage and tax statement (W-2) for each employee to whom Montana wages were paid, with or without withholding and all forms 1099 with Montana withholding. All forms 1099 without Montana withholding must be accompanied by Federal form 1096. An Annual Reconciliation Form (MW-3) must be submitted to support the withholding reported on the W-2 and 1099 forms.

W-2s, 1099s and MW-3s can be filed electronically. Securely submit W-2s and 1099s using ePass/File Transfer Service and submit MW-3s using Taxpayer Access Point (TAP).


Electronic Business Account Registration

The Montana Department of Revenue is committed to providing quality electronic services. Through these services, the department will provide accurate, confidential, secure and cost effective processing of information and payments.

Register Your Business Account with the Department of Revenue Online Through - Taxpayer Access Point (TAP)

Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) is a free electronic service that allows you to submit your business registration online. Once the application has been processed you will receive the appropriate documentation from the department including your Montana Department of Revenue account ID. TAP allows you to register for the following business accounts:

- Income Tax Withholding (WTH)
- Lodging and Facility Sales and Use Tax (LFT)
- Rental Vehicle Sales Tax (RVT)
- Mineral Royalty Withholding Tax (MRW)

Before you begin you will need the following information to complete your registration to access your business account online:

- Federal Identification Number as used to report to the Internal Revenue Service – required for a Withholding account.
- Social Security Number – may be used to register if you are operating as a sole proprietorship; however, it is not applicable for a Withholding account.
- If you do not have a Federal Identification Number, please visit the Internal Revenue Service at IRS to learn how to get one immediately.
- Date you are starting business – for Withholding purposes, this is the date employees started working in Montana.
- Legal business name – as associated to the identification number and as reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Assumed business name – the assumed business name, trade name, or d.b.a. is the name used before the public.
- Legal business address – must be a physical street address and is the legal business headquarters.
- Current mailing address – this may be a post office box or other address. This is the address where the department will send all correspondence.
- Contact name and phone number – this is the individual that will act as the entity’s representative.
- Physical location address – this is required for Lodging Facility and Rental Vehicle accounts.

Additional Contact Information:

Montana Department of Revenue
Citizens Services
PO Box 5805
Helena, MT 59604-5805

Phone: Toll free 1-866-859-2254 (in Helena, 444-6900)


Withholding Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I underpaid last year’s withholding. When will I receive a statement of account?

A. We generate statements of account after the MW-3 has posted for that tax year. We print and mail statements at the beginning of each month as long as there is a balance due on the account.

Q. I have an overpayment that wasn’t reflected on the return. How do I go about requesting a refund? How long will that take?

A. Requests for refund must be submitted in writing to the department. The request should be on the company’s letterhead (if applicable), include the account ID or federal ID number, and must specify the amount of the refund being requested. After we review and verify the request, the refund should reach the taxpayer in seven to 14 business days.

Q. Why am I receiving a statement of account (SOA)?

A. We usually issue SOAs when taxes go unpaid, an associated interest is due and/or when there are penalties resulting from late payments or late return filings.

Q. What do I do with the 1099s without state withholding?

A. Any forms 1099 that do not report state withholding should be sent in with federal form 1096. Do not send in 1099s without withholding with the MW-3.

Q. Should North Dakota residents working in Montana have Montana or North Dakota withholding taken from their wages? Is there a reciprocal form that the employee or employer must file?

A. Montana and North Dakota have a reciprocity agreement. This means that North Dakota residents who are working in Montana and have filed the Reciprocity Exemption from Withholding form (Form MT-R) with their employer are subject to income tax withholding requirements of North Dakota. For information on taxation of Montana residents working in North Dakota, please visit the North Dakota Office of the State Tax Commissioner website at nd.gov/tax.

Q. If I have a new business and/or do not have a full look-back period, how often should I file my withholding payments?

A. Until you have established a complete look-back period (Jul 1 – Jun 31), you should file your withholding payments on a monthly basis until the department notifies you otherwise. A monthly filing frequency means that the withholding payments are due on the 15th day following the month that the wages were constructively paid and withheld on. For example, wages paid and withheld on in January are due by February 15.

Q. I accidentally sent in my federal withholding instead of my state withholding. What should I do?

A. You have three options: 1) You can request a refund of the entire amount of federal withholding paid to the state (see FAQ on refund requests), 2) request that a portion of the payment gets applied towards that period’s withholding liability and the remainder gets carried forward towards future liability amounts, or 3) request that it covers your state liability and have the rest refunded.

Q. For Montana state purposes, how can the W-4 allowances differ from the federal-accepted from allowances?

A. There are two major differences between the state-accepted and the federal-accepted W-4: 1) The state does not recognize the federal child tax credit allowance. 2) The state does not recognize an exempt status. Also, be advised that any W-4s that claim more than 10 allowances must be submitted to the department for review and approval.

Q. Why do I need a Power of Attorney form?

A. A Power of Attorney form is necessary in instances when a tax preparer or any other non-owner that is not otherwise listed as a contact on the account needs access to or needs to discuss with the department any information regarding your withholding account.

Q. How do I register for a withholding account?

A. To register for a new withholding account, you will need to file a General Registration form (GenReg) via paper or electronically. To file paper, download and print the GenReg form from our website. To register electronically, visit the Taxpayer Access Point (TAP). You will need your federal ID number and need to create a login and password.