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Reminder for businesses: Jan. 31 filing deadline for employer wage statements

Posted on December 17, 2019

Teipen Selanders Poynter & Ayres business CPAs want to be sure employers and other businesses know that wage statements and independent contractor forms are due to be filed on January 31, 2020.

Although this due date isn’t new, prior to the 2015 PATH (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes) Act passing, employers had a longer time frame to file these forms. Since 2015, PATH law made a permanent 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 31st. Other forms due on January 31 include some 1099-MISC forms, filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors.

Why did the IRS move this filing date up? For taxpayer protection. The earlier filing date means that the IRS can more easily detect refund fraud by verifying income that individuals report on their tax returns before the tax return season gets busy.

What happens if you file late? The IRS is serious about late penalties. Employers can avoid paying late penalties by filing the forms on time and without errors.

Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. For more information on getting a needed extension, call your CPA or log on to IRS.gov to download Form 8809, Application for Time to File Information Returns.

What’s the best way to file? Teipen CPAs recommend e-file as the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms. But, as always, if you need help understanding the rules and getting the proper files submitted, just ask us. We can walk you through the process and the paperwork.

Be proactive. Now is a great time to get these records in order and verified. Employers should verify employees’ information including names, addresses, and Social Security or individual taxpayer identification numbers.

Employers should also ensure their company’s account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration before the start of the new year.