New W-2 Form Deadlines
The following are some tips for meeting your W-2 reporting obligations and an explanation of when and how to file the correct forms. My next post will cover this information for W-2’s cousin, the W-9 form.
Reporting employee wages and taxes
You must issue an annual W-2 form if you paid an employee any amount in wages during the previous year. This form reports the employee’s wages, income tax and FICA tax withholding, as well as certain other employment-related payments. The form also contains information on any deferred taxes from retirement contributions, untaxed moving expenses and tips for individuals in service industries.
However, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, businesses that provide health insurance to their employees must report the cost of coverage on employee W-2 forms. The reported amount should include both the employee and employer contribution to the health care premium.
In addition to all employee-related information, W-2 forms must include the employer’s business name, address and federal ID number.
Know the mailing dates
Once all of the necessary information has been entered onto the W-2 form, you must provide copies of the form to both your employees and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
In the past you had until February 28 to send W-2 forms to the SSA, as long as employees receiver them by January 31. Beginning this year all forms must be submitted to employees AND the SSA by January 31.
Once you’ve given your employees their W-2s, ask them to check and make sure the information is correct. If any inaccuracies are found, corrections may be submitted using form W-2c.
In the event of non-receipt
It is important that you adhere to the mailing deadlines for both your employees and the SSA. If you choose to ignore these deadlines, you may be subject to penalties, including fines or even imprisonment.
Let your employees know they should contact you directly if they do not receive their W-2 form in the mail, as this will make the process easier for everyone involved. If this happens, verify the employee’s mailing address. You might have W-2s returned to you if the mailing information is wrong, in which case you can attempt to resend using the correct address or ask the employee to pick it up from you.
If you already have the correct mailing address on file, you may choose to wait about 7–10 days to allow for slow mail delivery to catch up to the recipient. If the employee still has not received the W-2 at this point, send a duplicate copy.
If necessary, the employee may also contact the IRS if they have not received their W-2. The IRS will likely ask the employee to wait until February 14 to allow for slow delivery time. After that, the IRS will contact the employer and ask that the employee receive a duplicate W-2.