Employers must provide copies B, C and 2 of Form W-2 to their employees by Jan. 31

With the start of filing season the Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers of the Jan. 31 deadline to file Forms W-2 and other wage statements with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Filing these documents timely prevents late-filing penalties for employers, helps employees file their income tax returns and prevents tax fraud. Employers must file copies of their 2023 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements and Form W-3Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the SSA by Jan. 31, whether filing electronically or by paper forms.

Employers must also provide copies B, C and 2 of Form W-2 to their employees by Jan. 31. For more information on filing Form W-2, see General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3. The Jan. 31 deadline also applies to Forms 1099-NEC filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors. Employers and payers can review the Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC for details and other due dates.

Employer Identification Numbers

Employers need to make sure the employer identification number (EIN) on their 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 to their business. Do not use a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) on forms that ask for an EIN, and never truncate EINs or SSNs on any forms.

Extensions
Employers may request a 30-day extension to file Forms W-2 with SSA by submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, by Jan. 31. Additionally, extensions of time to furnish Forms W-2 to employees must also occur by Jan. 31. For detailed information and instructions on how to file an extension of time to furnish Forms W-2 to employees or to request a 30-day extension with the SSA, see Form 8809 and General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3.

Electronic filing
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the electronic filing threshold for information returns reduced from 250 to 10 for filing season 2024. Filers need to combine all information return types they file to determine if they meet the 10-return threshold and if the requirement to file electronically applies to them.

The IRS offers a free e-file service for the Form 1099 series, the Information Returns Intake System (IRIS) Taxpayer Portal. IRIS is a web-based platform that is accurate, convenient, easy to use, secure and doesn’t require any additional software. Learn more about e-filing information returns with IRIS and its features.

For help with filing information returns electronically, review Publication 1220, Specification for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G and the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) webpage.

E-filing is the most secure and accurate method to file returns and saves taxpayers time and prevents delays in processing returns. For more information about e-filing Forms W-2 visit the SSA’s Business Services Online and Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information and Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide.

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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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