ALERT: Employers Face New Jan. 31 Filing Deadline for W-2 and certain 1099-MISC

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted in December 2015 changes the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31. Employers are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by Jan. 31 regardless of whether it is paper filed or electronically filed. The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.  An automatic 30 day extension may be requested for 1099-MISC by using Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns which must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but no later than January 31. The extension can be filed by mail or online (starting Tuesday January 19, 2017) using IRS website. Please review 8809 instructions.

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 no later than January 31. Please carefully review the instructions for Form 8809, for more information.

The new accelerated deadline will help the IRS improve its efforts to identify errors on returns filed by taxpayers. One key reason for the change was to combat fraud by facilitating a timely IRS tax return verification process.  According to the IRS, this will help them determine whether returns were filed legitimately and, in many instances, this will enable them to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.

The Jan. 31 deadline for employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees has remained unchanged. Up to a 30 day extension may be requested to provide the information returns to the recipient.  This extension request must be filed in addition to filing requirements of Form 8809.   For additional information please see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns on the IRS website

If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact us and one of our tax specialists would be happy to assist you.

 

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