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With tax season approaching, employers should be aware that beginning in 2017, the deadline to file their Form W-2s to the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been moved up to January 31. This deadline also applies to certain Form 1099s for reporting nonemployee compensation including payments to independent contractors. This earlier filing deadline is aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud.

The January 31 deadline applies to all employers regardless of size or method of filing, which includes both paper and electronic submissions. As in the past, employers must provide copies of Form W-2 to their employees no later than January 31, so there is no change to this deadline.

What changed?

Previously, employers typically had until the end of February (paper filers) or the end of March (electronic filers) to submit their forms. The IRS is also making changes to the extension process: Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available, and this extension is not automatic. Employers filing 249 or fewer copies of the W-2 can choose to file either electronically or by paper, but employers filing 250 or more copies must file electronically.

What should employers do to prepare?

  1. Confirm who is responsible for filing your W-2s and 1099s in 2017 and inform them of the new January 31 deadline. If HR Knowledge processes your payroll, your Client Account Manager will work with you to ensure these compliance filing deadlines are met.
  2. Make sure employees’ filing status and personal information, such as addresses, are up to date.
  3. Verify that W-9 information is current for any independent contractors.
  4. Don’t forget to provide your employees with a copy of their W-2 and contractors with a copy of their 1099 by January 31!

Have additional questions or need guidance to ensure your company’s W-2 and 1099 forms are submitted by the new deadline? Our HR team is here to help you adjust to these new requirements. Please contact us for more information.

This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.