A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will accelerate the W-2 and 1099 filing deadline for employers to January 31.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers starting this year, 2017. Employers are now required to file their copies of Form W-2 submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31, as well as Forms 1099-MISC.
In the past, employers typically had until the end of February (if filing on paper) or the end of March (if filing electronically) to submit their copies of these forms. In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available, and this extension is not automatic.
If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but by January 31. Please carefully review the instructions for Form 8809, and call the office if you need more information.
The new accelerated deadline will help the IRS improve its efforts to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers. Having these W-2s and 1099s earlier will make it easier for the IRS to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. In many instances, this will enable the IRS to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.
The January 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees and that date remains unchanged.
Please contact Sepulvado Consulting Group if you have any questions regarding the earlier filing deadlines for Forms W-2 or 1099.