Employer Responsibilities and Form W-2
Employers must file Copy A of Form(s) W-2 to the Social Security Administration by January 31st. If January 31st falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline will be the next business day. Employers must furnish Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2 to employees by January 31. Employers must furnish these copies of Form W-2 to employees from whom:
- Income, social security, or Medicare tax was withheld, or
- Income tax would have been withheld if the employee had claimed only one withholding allowance or had not claimed an exemption from withholding on Form W-4.
Though many payroll providers will file W-2s and send copies to employees on behalf of their employer, employers are ultimately responsible for making sure W-2s for all employees are mailed and filed by the IRS deadlines.
W-2s and Terminated Employees
W-2s may be provided to employees terminated before Dec 31st at any time between the date of termination and by the IRS deadline of the next year. If the terminated employee requests their W-2 at termination, provide the W-2 within 30 days of termination or last paycheck.
SSNs and W-2s
Employees' social security numbers must be used on the Form W-2. An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is not acceptable. ITINs are only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes.
Any mailed W-2s that are returned as undeliverable should be kept for four years from issue date. Do not send undeliverable employee W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration.
Employers should keep Copy D (Employer Copy) of Form W-2s for their records for 4 years.
For more information visit this IRS page.
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