IRS reminds employers to file Forms W-2 by January 31

Requests for extensions have also changed

Posted November 9, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently reminded employers and small businesses of the new January 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2. The acceleration of the filing deadline is due to a new federal law aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers. They are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31. The new filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms.

In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available and this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but by January 31.

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