Forms W-3, W-3SS, and W-3c.
The title of the Contact name, Telephone number, Email address, and Fax number boxes on Forms W-3, W-3SS, and W-3c
(Rev. 8-2013) has been changed to the Employer's contact person, Employer's telephone number, Employer's email address, and
Employer's fax number, respectively. On Forms W-3, W-3SS, and W-3c (Rev. 8-2013), the Employer's fax number box has been replaced
with the Employer's email address box to allow for a longer employer's email address.
Information about any future developments affecting Forms W-2 and W-3 and their instructions (such as legislation
enacted after we release them) will be posted at www.irs.gov/w2
Returned wage reports from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Effective January 2015, the SSA will return Form W-2 electronic and paper wage reports under the following conditions:
Medicare wages and tips are less than the sum of social security wages and social security tips,
Social security tax is greater than zero; social security wages and social security tips are equal to zero, and
Medicare tax is greater than zero; Medicare wages and tips are equal to zero.
Additionally, Forms W-2 and W-2c electronic and paper wage reports for household employers will be returned under
the following conditions:
The sum of social security wages and social security tips is less than the minimum yearly earnings subject to social security
and Medicare tax withholding for a household employee, and
The Medicare wages and tips are less than the minimum yearly earnings subject to social security and Medicare tax withholding
for a household employee.
If the above conditions occur in an electronic wage report, the SSA will notify the submitter by email or postal mail
to correct the report and resubmit it to the SSA. If the above conditions occur in a paper wage report, the SSA will notify
the employer by email or postal mail to correct the report and resubmit it to the SSA.
Household employers, see Pub. 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide.
Third-party sick pay recap reporting.
The IRS expects to change the third-party sick pay recap reporting and filing requirements for wages paid in 2014.
Information about this change will be included in the 2014 Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide (Supplement
to Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, Publication 15) and other relevant tax products.
Get it done faster...
E-file your Forms W-2 and W-2c with the SSA.
$2,500 limit on health flexible spending arrangement (FSA).
For plan years beginning after December 31, 2012, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction
contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,500. For more information, see Health flexible spending arrangement (FSA).
Additional Medicare Tax.
Beginning January 1, 2013, an employer is required to withhold a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax on any Federal Insurance
Contributions Act (FICA) wages or Railroad Retirement Act (RRTA) compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000
in a calendar year. An employer is required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which it pays
wages or compensation in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it until the end of the calendar year.
Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. All wages
and compensation that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of
the $200,000 withholding threshold.
For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, go to IRS.gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax
” in the search box.
Unless otherwise noted, references to Medicare tax include Additional Medicare Tax.
Business Services Online (BSO).
The SSA has enhanced its secure BSO website to make it easier to register and navigate. Use BSO’s online fill-in forms to
create, save, and submit Forms W-2 and W-2c to the SSA electronically. BSO lets you print copies of these forms to file with
state or local governments, distribute to your employees, and keep for your records. BSO generates Form W-3 automatically
based on your Forms W-2. You also can use BSO to upload wage files to the SSA, check on the status of previously submitted
wage reports, and take advantage of other convenient services for employers and businesses. Visit the SSA’s Employer W-2 Filing
Instructions & Information website at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer
for more information about using BSO to save time for your organization. Here you also will find forms and publications used
for wage reporting, information about verifying employee social security numbers online, how to reach an SSA employer services
representative for your region, and more.
Preview BSO by viewing a brief online tutorial. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/employer, select “Handbooks, Tutorials & Videos” and click on “Business Services Online Tutorial.”
Correcting wage reports.
You can use BSO to create, save, print, and submit Forms W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, online for the current
year as well as for prior years. After logging in to BSO, navigate to the Electronic Wage Reporting home page and click on
the “Forms W-2c/W-3c Online
” tab. See E-filing
and E-filing Forms W-2c and W-3c.
Distributions from governmental section 457(b) plans of state and local agencies.
Generally, report distributions from section 457(b) plans of state and local agencies on Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions,
Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. See Notice 2003-20 for details. You can find
Notice 2003-20 on page 894 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2003-19 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb03-19.pdf.
Earned income credit (EIC) notice (not applicable to Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, and W-2VI).
You must notify employees who have no income tax withheld that they may be able to claim an income tax refund because of the
EIC. You can do this by using the official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2 with the EIC notice on the back of Copy
B or a substitute Form W-2 with the same statement. You must give your employee Notice 797, Possible Federal Tax Refund Due
to the Earned Income Credit (EIC), or your own statement that contains the same wording if (a) you use a substitute Form W-2
that does not contain the EIC notice, (b) you are not required to furnish Form W-2, or (c) you do not furnish a timely Form
W-2 to your employee. For more information, see section 10 in Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.
Electronic statements for employees.
Furnishing Copies B, C, and 2 of Forms W-2 to your employees electronically may save you time and effort. See Pub. 15-A, Employer's
Supplemental Tax Guide, for additional information.
The SSA encourages all employers to e-file
. E-filing can save you time and effort and helps ensure accuracy. You must e-file
if you are required to file 250 or more Forms W-2 or W-2c. If you are required to e-file
but fail to do so, you may incur a penalty.
March 31 due date for e-filers.
The due date for e-filing 2014 Form W-2 with the SSA is March 31, 2015.
You can request a waiver from this requirement by filing Form 8508, Request for Waiver From Filing Information Returns Electronically.
Submit Form 8508 to the IRS at least 45 days before the due date of Form W-2, or 45 days before you file your first Form W-2c.
See Form 8508 for information about filing this form.
The SSA’s BSO website makes e-filing easy by providing two ways to submit your Forms W-2 or W-2c Copy A and Forms W-3 or W-3c
If you need to file 50 or fewer Forms W-2 or 25 or fewer Forms W-2c at a time, you can use BSO to create them online. BSO
guides you through the process of creating Forms W-2 or W-2c, saving and printing them, and submitting them to the SSA when
you are ready. You do not have to wait until you have submitted Forms W-2 or W-2c to the SSA before printing copies for your
employees. BSO generates Form W-3 or W-3c automatically based on your Forms W-2 or W-2c.
If you need to file more than 50 Forms W-2 or more than 25 Forms W-2c, BSO’s “file upload” feature might be the best e-filing method for your business or organization. To obtain file format specifications, visit
the SSA’s Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer, select “Publications & Forms” and click on “Specifications for Filing Forms W-2 and W-2c Electronically (EFW2/EFW2C)” and select the appropriate document. This information is also available by calling the SSA’s Employer Reporting Service
Center at 1-800-772-6270 (toll free).
If you e-file, do not file the same returns using paper forms.
For more information about e-filing Forms W-2 or W-2c and a link to the BSO website, visit the SSA’s Employer W-2 Filing Instructions
& Information website at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer.
In a few situations, reporting instructions vary depending on the filing method you choose. For example, you can include every
type of box 12 amount in one employee wage record if you upload an electronic file. If you file on paper or create Forms W-2
online, you can include only four box 12 amounts per Form W-2. See the TIP for Copy A in Box 12—Codes.
Foreign agricultural workers.
You must report on Form W-2 compensation of $600 or more that you pay to H-2A visa agricultural workers. See Foreign agricultural workers.
Use the “944
” checkbox in box b of Form W-3 or Form W-3SS if you filed Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return. Also use the “944
” checkbox if you filed Formulario 944(SP), the Spanish-language version of Form 944.
Forms W-2 for U.S. possessions.
In these instructions, reference to Forms W-2 and W-3 includes Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, and W-3SS, unless otherwise
noted. These instructions are not applicable to wage and tax statements for Puerto Rico. Form W-2AS is used to report American
Samoa wages paid by American Samoa employers, Form W-2CM is used to report the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
(CNMI) wages paid by CNMI employers, Form W-2GU is used to report Guam wages paid by Guam employers, and Form W-2VI is used
to report U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) wages paid by USVI employers. Do not use these forms to report wages subject to U.S.
income tax withholding. Instead, use Form W-2 to show U.S. income tax withheld.
Military differential pay.
Employers paying their employees while they are on active duty in the United States uniformed services should treat these
payments as wages subject to income tax withholding. See Military differential pay.
Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA).
You may be required to report wages and taxes on a form different from the form you generally use if an employee claims
residence or domicile under MSRRA in a different jurisdiction in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American
Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Under MSRRA, the spouse of an active duty servicemember (civilian spouse) may keep his or her prior residence or domicile
for tax purposes (tax residence) when accompanying the servicemember spouse, who is relocating under military orders, to a
new military duty station in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. possession. Before relocating, both
spouses must have had the same tax residence.
For example, if a civilian spouse is working in Guam but properly claims tax residence in one of the 50 states under
MSRRA, his or her income from services would not be taxable income for Guam tax purposes. Federal income taxes should be withheld
and remitted to the IRS. State and local income taxes may need to be withheld and remitted to state and local tax authorities.
You should consult with state, local, or U.S. possession tax authorities regarding your withholding obligations under MSRRA.http://P.L.111-97, sec. 3
Nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
You are not required to complete box 12 with code Y (Deferrals under a section 409A nonqualified deferred compensation
plan). Section 409A provides that all amounts deferred under a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan for all tax
years are includible in gross income unless certain requirements are satisfied. See Nonqualified deferred compensation plans
Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Reporting Examples Chart.
Reporting aide charts.
To aide in reporting, a Form W-2 Box 13 Retirement Plan Checkbox Decision Chart
and a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Reporting Examples Chart
have been added to these instructions. See pages 27 and 28.
Reporting the cost of group health insurance coverage.
You must report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage in box 12 using code DD. However, transitional relief applies
to certain employers and certain types of plans. For more information, see Box 12—Codes
for Code DD—Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage.
You may use an acceptable substitute form instead of an official IRS form.
If you are not using the official IRS form to furnish Form W-2 to employees or to file with the SSA, you may use an acceptable
substitute form that complies with the rules in Pub. 1141, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2 and W-3.
Pub. 1141 is a revenue procedure that explains the requirements for format and content of substitute Forms W-2 and W-3. Your
substitute forms must comply with the requirements in Pub. 1141.
If you are not using the official IRS form to furnish Form W-2c to employees or to file with the SSA, you may use an acceptable
substitute form that complies with the rules in Pub. 1223, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms W-2c and
W-3c. Pub. 1223 is a revenue procedure that explains the requirements for format and content of substitute Forms W-2c and
W-3c. Your substitute forms must comply with the requirements in Pub. 1223.
Help with e-filing.
If you have questions about how to register or use BSO, call 1-800-772-6270 (toll free) to speak with an employer reporting
specialist at the SSA. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. If you experience
problems using any of the services within BSO, call 1-888-772-2970 (toll free). To speak with the SSA's Employer Services
Liaison Officer (ESLO) for the U.S. Virgin Islands, call 1-212-264-1117 (not a toll-free number). For Guam or American Samoa,
call 1-510-970-8247 (not a toll-free number). For all other employers, contact the ESLO that services your region. For a complete
telephone listing, visit the SSA’s Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer
Information reporting customer service site.
The IRS operates a centralized customer service site to answer questions about reporting on Forms W-2, W-3, 1099, and other
information returns. If you have questions about reporting on these forms, call 1-866-455-7438 (toll free). The hours of operation
are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Telephone help is available using TTY/TDD equipment for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability.
If you have questions about reporting on information returns (Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, W-2, W-2G, and
W-3), call 1-304-579-4827. For any other tax information, call 1-800-829-4059.
Employment tax information.
Detailed employment tax information is given in:
Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide,
Pub. 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide,
Pub. 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits,
Pub. 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide, and
Pub. 80 (Circular SS), Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands.
You also can call the IRS with your employment tax questions at 1-800-829-4933 or visit IRS.gov and type “Employment Taxes
” in the search box.