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What Employers Need to Know About Form W-2

completing a Form W-2

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to complete and submit a Form W-2 for each employee.

As a small business employer, you are responsible for distributing IRS Form W-2 in the new year so your employees can begin to file their federal and state taxes. Unfortunately, Form W-2 can be quite confusing. Luckily, we have a guide below that should answer the common Form W-2 questions that may occur to you as you prepare your forms. 

What is IRS Form W-2? 

Form W-2 shows an employee’s gross wages from the year, and the taxes withheld. You must send the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement to each employee, as well as to the Social Security Administration. You must also submit a Form W-3, which is a summary of all W-2s, to the SSA. 

Who Receives Form W-2?

You must create a W-2 for each paid employee from the year, even if they no longer work for you. Do not give a Form W-2 to independent contractors. Instead, you must send contractors Form 1099.

What is Included on Form W-2?

The form typically includes this information: 

  • Employee’s Social Security number
  • Employee’s personal information
  • Your business’s information and your Employer Identification Number
  • Wages, tips, and other compensation
  • Taxes withheld

Where Can You Get W-2 Forms?

You can typically purchase W-2 forms from the IRS or a local office supply store. You can view a sample of the form on the IRS website, but you cannot use the example. 

Where Do You Send the Forms? 

In addition to sending each Form W-2 to your employees and the SSA, the form has many copies that need to be distributed to specific places. The copies are as listed: 

  • Copy A: Mail or e-file to the SSA with Form W-3
  • Copy B: Send to employees for their federal tax returns
  • Copy C: Send to employees for their records
  • Copy D: Keep this copy for your business records. 
  • Copy 1: If you are required to do so, file this with the state, city, or local tax department.
  • Copy 2: This is sent to the employee to file this copy, if required, with their state, city, or local tax department. 

When is Form W-2 Due? 

You must send W-2s to employees by January 31st. You must also submit your W-2 and W-3 to the SSA by the same date. If January 31st falls on a holiday or a weekend, Form W-2 is due on the following business day. 

Avoid These Common Errors

When filling out your forms, make sure you haven’t committed any of these common mistakes: 

  • Using an outdated form
  • Sending Form W-2 to IRS instead of SSA
  • Filing the form late
  • Submitting a handwritten W-2
  • Formatting mistakes
  • Using the IRS sample
  • Cutting, stapling, or folding Form W-2
  • Using dollar signs
  • Not using decimals for dollar amounts

If you have made a mistake, you can use Form W-2c to make corrections. 

trust the professionals at the harding group

Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for emails or phone calls and will strive for open communication with our clients. Whether you are interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, Training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning, we have the expertise and years of experience to help. We serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of taxes, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. For more tax tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 24th, 2019 at 2:22 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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