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What is a W-2c? When is a W-2c required?

A W-2c is a corrected wage and tax statement required by the IRS to correct information previously reported on for W-2.

If corrections are completed after December 31st (e.g. annual payroll information is corrected after the start of the new year) the W-2s filed for the tax year will not reflect the correction and will be filed as is. Once the correction is completed, a W-2c  will be issued to the employee and filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

If payroll administrators discover a discrepancy or are made aware of an error by an employee, either on the W-2 Preview or actual W-2, it is important to consider the following:

Incorrect employer name, address, and ZIP code:

  • This entry should be the same as shown on your Form 941. Zenefits populates the legal address that is housed in the Zenefits system, which is the same address used for all other applicable payroll filings, including the 941.
  • Per IRS instructions, the address listed on the W-2 shouldn't be changed for the purpose of adjusting a return address for mailing. Instead you may put the desired return address on the envelope used for mailing. If employees have authorized electronic receipt of their W-2, mailing the hard copy may not be necessary.
  • If the address is truly incorrect (if the address is not your correct legal address), a correction to the W-2 is not necessary and administrators should review this IRS instruction for correcting the address on IRS records and ensure your legal address is correct in Zenefits for all future filings.

Incorrect employee address:

  • If a W-2 displays an incorrect address for the employee, but all other information on the Form W-2 was correct, a payroll correction is not needed and there is no requirement to file Form W-2c  with the SSA merely to correct the address.  
  • In order to correct the statement for the employee, you may do one of the following:
  1. Issue a new, corrected Form W-2 to the employee that includes the new address. Indicate “REISSUED STATEMENT” on the new copies. Do not send Copy A of Form W-2 to the SSA.  This is easily done in any PDF editor software.
  2. Issue a Form W-2c to the employee that shows the correct address in box i and any other corrected information. Do not send Copy A of Form W-2c to the SSA.
  3. Issue the Form W-2 with the incorrect address to the employee in an envelope showing the correct address or otherwise deliver it to the employee.

Incorrect income tax withholding:

  • If an employee was under- or over-withheld for federal or state income taxes, a correction to the W-2 should not be requested. Both federal and state agencies mandate that employees must address amounts due and refunds when filing their personal tax return.
  • If an employee was taxed in the wrong state, a correction to the W-2 should not be requested. Employees should file a tax return to the state agency for which the taxes were collected and request a refund and file a tax return to the state for which they should have had tax withheld in order to pay any liability due.
  • For local city/county taxes, the requirement to correct the wage and tax information, and file a W-2c and other amendments, may vary.  Corrections to city, county, and other local income tax types on a W-2 should be discussed with a tax professional and payroll administrators should contact Zenefits as soon as possible to determine the proper corrective action.

Payroll administrators should review the Zenefits article on correcting historical payroll information prior to reaching out to Zenefits, to ensure a correction is needed. If any discrepancy/error mandates an update to wage and tax data on the W-2, Social Security Number, or Employer Federal Employment Identification Number, payroll administrators should reach out to Zenefits as soon as possible. The best process for submitting a request for a correction is to email Customer Care via the Zenefits Contact Us page.

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