Employers: W-2s Due January 31 to IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds employers and other businesses of the January 31 filing deadline that now applies to filing Form W-2 wage statements and independent contractor forms.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 started a requirement for employers to file their copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. Certain Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors are also due at this time. Such payments are reported in box 7 of this form.

The IRS can more efficiently verify income that individuals report on their tax returns because of the January 31 deadline; this helps prevent fraud. File these forms correctly and timely to avoid penalties. IRS e-file is the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms.

Pointers to help filers prepare

As always, employers are also required to distribute copies of the Form W-2 to their employees on January 31.

Act now to get ready for the filing season by making sure that:

  • Your company’s account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration.
  • You have correct employee information.
  • You have enough copies of the forms you will need, if you use paper forms. Consider the advantages of filing your forms electronically (accuracy, speed, convenience).

Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are not available. The IRS will grant extensions only for very specific reasons. Details can be found on the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Time to File Information Returns.

For more information, read the instructions for Forms W-2 & W-3 and the Information Return Penalties page at IRS.gov.

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