Filing Year-End Form W-2 Copies With The Social Security Administration


Businesses must provide most employees with a Form W-2 after the end of each calendar year. For every Form W-2 issued, employers must also send a copy of the form to the Social Security Administration.

IRS Form W-2 is a form that is used to summarize wages and benefits paid to an employee. The form consists of six nearly identical copies, with each copy intended for a specific use. Each employee typically receives three copies for their own tax filing. The employer keeps a copy and sends another copy to the applicable state. The remaining copy must be sent to the Social Security Administration.

Form W-2 is an IRS form, but it is not filed with the IRS. The copy of Form W-2 that is sent to the Social Security Administration summarizes much of the information reported on payroll tax returns filed earlier during the applicable year. Along with copies of all W-2 forms, a single IRS Form W-3 is sent to summarize the transmittal.

Mandatory electronic filing threshold

If you have fewer than 250 W-2 forms to send to the SSA, you have the option to mail them to a specific Social Security Administration address. Electronic filing is required if you issue 250 or more W-2 forms for the year. It is possible to use IRS Form 8508 to request a waiver from mandatory electronic filing, but the waiver request must be filed 45 days or more before the W-2 forms are due.

Due dates

The due date for sending W-2 forms to the SSA is different from the date by which you must provide copies to employees. The deadline for sending Form W-2 to your employees is January 31. The due date for mailing W-2 forms to the SSA is February 29. The deadline for filing the W-2 forms online with the SSA is March 31.

Your employees cannot file their individual income tax returns until they have a copy of Form W-2. Whether you provide a paper copy or online access, it is essential that each Form W-2 is correct. If you detect a payroll error affecting any W-2 form already issued, file IRS Form W-2C with the SSA as soon as possible to correct the error. Also provide a copy of Form W-2C to any affected employee.

The accurate completion of year-end W-2 forms is dependent on maintaining thorough payroll records throughout the tax year. Contact an accounting firm, such as Blueback Accounting, for more information about the practical advantage of using a payroll service.


21 December 2015

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