The IRS is reminding employers of the Jan. 31 deadline to provide copies of Form W-2 and other wage statements to their workers and to the Social Security Administration.
A 2015 law made it a permanent requirement that employers file copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31.
Other due dates related to Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC, including dates due to the IRS, can be found on the form’s instructions at IRS.gov.
The normal January filing date for wage statements assists the IRS to detect fraud more easily by verifying income that individuals report on their tax returns. The IRS and SSA encourage all employers to e-file because it is the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file.
For more information about e-filing Forms W-2 and a link to the SSA’s Business Services Online website, visit the SSA’s Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at SSA.gov/employer.
Employers should be sure that their employer identification number (EIN) on wage and tax statements (Forms W-2, W-3, etc.) and their payroll tax returns (Forms 941, 943, 944, etc.) match the EIN the IRS assigned their business. Do not use their Security numbers or an Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) on any forms that ask for an EIN.
If an employer used an EIN (including a prior owner’s EIN) on payroll tax returns that’s different from the EIN reported on their W-3, they should review General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 Box h—Other EIN used this year.
Filing these forms with inconsistent EINs, or using another business’s EIN, may result in penalties and delays in processing an employer’s returns. Even if an employer uses a third-party payer or a different entity within their business to file these documents, the name and EIN on all statements and forms filed must be consistent and exactly match the EIN the IRS assigned to their business. For more information on third-party arrangements, see Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide.
Employers may request a 30-day extension to file Forms W-2 by submitting a complete application on Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns by Jan. 31. However, one of the criteria in Section 7 of Form 8809 must be met for the extension to be granted. This criterion includes a fire at the business or other catastrophic disaster, or the death or serious illness of the person responsible for filing the paperwork.
Filing Form 8809 does not extend the due date for furnishing wage statements to employees. A separate extension of time to furnish Forms W-2 to employees must be filed by Jan. 31. See Extension of time to furnish Forms W-2 to employees for more information.