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Reminder to employers: February 1 is the deadline for wage statements

Posted on January 13, 2021


Teipen CPA Group reminds employers that they must file Form W-2 and other wage statements by Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, to avoid IRS penalties.

A 2015 law made it a permanent requirement that employers file copies of their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by the end of the day, Jan. 31.

That is also the date the Forms W-2 are due to workers. This upcoming tax season, however, Jan. 31 falls on a Sunday, pushing the due dates to the next business day, Monday, Feb. 1.

February 1 is also the due date for Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income and Forms 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation. (Various other due dates related to Form 1099-MISC, including dates dues to the IRS, can be found in the instructions on IRS.gov.)

IRS Fraud detection

One of the reasons for an early-in-the-year filing date for wage statements is that the IRS can more easily detect refund fraud by verifying the income that individuals report on their tax returns. Since fraud is very much on the rise, employers can help support the IRS in this process and avoid penalties by filing the forms on time and without errors.

It’s a good idea for all businesses to verify and update employee information such as name changes, address changes, Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and the like well before the February 1st deadline.

The IRS recommends e-file as the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms.

Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are difficult to get. 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, talk to your CPA or review Forms W-2 & W-3 and the Information Return Penalties page at IRS.gov.