In an effort to reduce identity theft and improve tax compliance, there have been recent modifications to the due dates for forms in the W-2 series (except W-2G), and information returns (Form 1099-MISC) required to report nonemployee compensation. In addition, the IRS no longer allows an automatic 30 day extension to file forms in the W-2 series.

Congress passed provisions in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 that accelerate the due date to January 31 for filing information on wages reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and information on nonemployee compensation form 1099-MISC, effective for returns and statements relating to calendar year 2016.  As a result, the due date for filing 2016 Forms W-2, W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, W-3 and W-3SS with the SSA is now January 31, 2017, regardless of whether you file using paper or electronically. Form 1099-MISC must be filed on or before January 31, 2017, when reporting employee compensation payments in box 7. Otherwise Form 1099 must be filed by February 28, 2017, if filed on paper, or March 31, 2017, if filed electronically.

Also effective with the 2017 filing season, the IRS has removed the automatic extension of time to file information returns in the W-2 series (except W-2G). You may request one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 by submitting a complete application on Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, including a detailed explanation of why you need additional time and signed under penalties of perjury. The IRS will only grant the extension in extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe.

Penalties for late filing have been increased with the 2016 forms filing.  $50 per form if filed within 30 days and $100 if filed before August 2nd.  After August 2nd the penalty goes up to $260.  If the proper return is not filed with the IRS and also not furnished to the payee, the penalty doubles.

Receipt of information returns earlier in the filing season will improve the IRS’s ability to identify fraudulent refund claims and stop the refunds before they are paid. If you have any questions related to this initiative to accelerate information reporting, please call our office.