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IRS reminds employers, business owners of Jan. 31 filing deadline for wage statements, independent contractor forms

IR-2018-231, November 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers and other businesses that Jan. 31 remains the filing deadline for wage statements and independent contractor forms.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 started a requirement for employers to file their copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31. Certain Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors are also due at this time. Such payments are reported in box 7 of this form.

The IRS can more efficiently verify income that individuals report on their tax returns because of the Jan. 31 deadline; this helps prevent fraud. File these forms correctly and timely to avoid penalties. IRS e-file is the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms.

Pointers to help filers prepare

Employers should verify employees’ information. This includes names, addresses, and Social Security or individual taxpayer identification numbers. They should also ensure their company’s account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration before January.  If paper Forms W-2 are needed, they should be ordered early.

Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. Details can be found on the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Time to File Information Returns.

For more information, read the instructions for Forms W-2 & W-3 and the Information Return Penalties page at IRS.gov.