February 1 is the deadline for employers to issue and file wage statements
Employers must file Form W-2 and other wage statements by Monday, February 1, 2021. This is also the date Form W-2s are due to employees.
By law, employers are required to file copies of their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. However, since January 31 falls on a Sunday in 2021, the deadline is the next business day, Monday, February 1.
Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income and Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, are also due to recipients on February 1, 2021, with some exceptions. Other due dates related to Form 1099 are listed in the instructions for these forms.
Timely filing helps prevent fraud.
Filing wage statements on time and without errors is beneficial to employers and the IRS. The employer avoids penalties, and the IRS has time to verify income taxpayers report on their tax returns, which helps prevent fraud.
E-file is the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms. The law requires certain filers who file 250 or more information returns for any calendar year to file electronically.
Employers should plan and prepare early.
Good preparation now can help employers avoid problems later. For instance, employers can start by verifying or updating employee information, such as:
• Social Security numbers
• Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Employers should be sure their account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. Lastly, employers should order paper Form W-2s, if needed.
Automatic extensions of time to file Form W-2s are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. For details, employers should read the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.
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