Jan. 31 IRS Filing Deadline for Wage Statements, Contractor Forms
The Internal Revenue Service is reminding employers that wage statements and independent contractor forms still have a Jan. 31 filing deadline.
Before the U.S. Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act in 2015, employers generally had more time to file these forms.
The law permanently required employers annually file copies of W-2 forms, wage and tax statements, and the W-3 form, transmittal of wage and tax statements, with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31.
Certain forms, including form 1099-MISC, miscellaneous income, that are 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 early filing date means that the IRS can more easily detect refund fraud by verifying income that individuals report on their tax returns.
Employers can avoid penalties by filing the forms on time and without errors. The IRS recommends electronic filing as the quickest, most accurate, and convenient way to file these forms.
Employers should verify employees’ information, including names, addresses, and Social Security or individual taxpayer identification numbers.
They should also ensure their company’s account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration before January.
If paper W-2 forms are needed, they should be ordered early.
Automatic extensions of time to file W-2 forms are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions 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 and W-3.
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