In an effort to combat fraud, The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 revises the filing deadline for Form W-2 and certain types of Form 1099.
Previously, employers had to ensure employees received a copy of their Form W-2 by January 31st while paper filings submitted to the Social Security Administration had to be in by February 28th (March 31st for electronic filings). Beginning with 2016 forms, employers must file all Federal W-2s—both employee and agency copies—by January 31st. This deadline is for filing paper or electronic returns.
This January 31st deadline also applies to certain types of 1099s. If you’re filing Form 1099-Misc and reporting amounts in Box 7: Nonemployee Compensation, then you will need to meet the new filing deadline of January 31st.
If you don’t have amounts in Box 7, then the deadline remains February 28th for paper filings or March 31st for electronic filings.
This new deadline makes it important for employers to be well prepared to complete year-end tasks. This means:
- Verifying the accuracy of employee information
- Reporting/submitting any year-end adjustments as soon as possible
- Reviewing year-end totals for discrepancies
If corrections are required after you send your file to the Social Security Administration, you can do so by filing Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement.