Important Deadline Changes for W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has changed the guidelines for the filing of W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC forms. These changes impact companies of all sizes. It’s important for businesses to be aware of any amendments to remain compliant and to avoid costly penalties.

PATH Act Implications

The PATH (Protecting Against Tax Hikes) Act is a new bill passed in 2015. The bill alters the deadlines of three forms – W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC – and their variations. Organizations now have less time to make corrections or validate the data they used to complete the forms. The reduced timeframe could lead to more errors which could increase tax penalties at the new higher rates.

The tax information reporting requirements are becoming increasingly difficult for organizations. The reasons include the addition of new forms, changes to existing forms, new deadlines, and the amendments to tax codes, to name just a few. Also, one minor change has a ripple effect and leads to necessary adjustments in other areas. Not only is it more time-consuming to remain compliant, but it is also more expensive. Many companies don’t have staff with the expertise to handle all of these changes efficiently. The reduced timeframe could lead to more errors which could increase tax penalties at the new higher rates

Changes in Filing of W-2 and W-3

The new due date for filing W-2 and W-3 with the SSA (Social Security Administration) is January 31, 2017. The filing due date also pertains to Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, W-2VI, and W-3SS. The filing date is the same whether you file electronically or mail out paper forms.

An extension to file Form W-2 with the SSA is no longer automatic. Companies now have to request a one-time 30-day extension. However, the IRS rarely permits an extension unless there is an extreme situation that prevents compliance by the due date.

There are now higher penalties for tax returns filed after Dec. 31, 2015. The penalty amount is adjusted for inflation.

Changes for Filing Form 1099-MISC

For the filing of Form 1099-MISC, the new due date is Jan. 31. 2017 if companies are reporting nonemployee compensation payments using Box 7. If companies do not report on Box 7, the deadline for filing a paper 1099-MISC forms is Feb. 28, 2017, and March 31, 2017, for filing electronically.

For electronic filing, companies need to use the FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) System provided by the IRS. FIRE is only for the transmittal of forms. It allows fill-ins for only two forms, one of which is Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.

If a company needs an extension for filing the 1099-MISC, it must make a request by the deadline. A 30-day extension is granted only in extreme cases. It’s important to file the 1099-MISC by the due date because the penalties continue to increase.

As tax information reporting becomes more complicated, companies struggle to keep up-to-date with the new ever changing requirements. The PATH Act has added a new layer of compliance with the altered deadlines for W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC forms.

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