How Do I Submit W-2 Forms?

Sending W-2 Forms to the Social Security Administration

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UPDATE: New Earlier Deadline for Submitting W-2 Forms 

The deadline for filing W-2 and W-3 forms with the Social Security Administration has been changed. For 2016 forms (and into the future), the filing deadline is January 31. The deadline for giving W-2 forms to employees is still January 31 of the following year. The earlier submission date was set up to help prevent tax fraud. Read more about the  annual payroll tax report deadlines, with specific dates for the current year. The new deadline applies to all W-2 filings, even online filing. 

Before You Send the W-2 Forms

You must prepare a W-2 Wage and Tax Statement for each employee, showing wages earned, federal and state income tax withheld, other deductions, and information necessary for the employee to prepare his personal tax return. If you are not filing W-2 forms online, you must also prepare a W-3 form, summarizing the information included in the W-2s. Make sure all information on the W-3 form is exactly the same as that on the W-2s, including your business information. The totals on each form must match.

Review these other common errors in submitting W-2 and W-3 forms. If you make a mistake and must correct a W-2 form, you'll also have to submit an amended W-3. 

General Information for Submitting W-2 Forms

Send your W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration (SSA), NOT to the Internal Revenue Service.How to review and send these forms: 

  • Review your completed W-2 forms to make sure all information is clear and readable. Keep Copy A -- the red copy.
  • Submit the red Copy A of each W-2 forms to the SSA. The SSA will not accept photocopies.
  • Give the other copies (B, C, and 2) of the W-2 form to employees. Most businesses mail the forms, but you can also send them electronically, as long as you have a secure way to do that.

Sending W-2 Forms to the SSA Online 

You may e-file W-2 forms online to the Social Security Administration through their Business Services Online section. You don't have to include the W-3 form if you e-file the forms -- the SSA will calculates a total from the W-2 forms. There is no extension of the filing deadline of January 31 for online filing.You can submit corrected forms online as well. 

Sending W-2 Forms to the SSA By Mail 

  • Send the forms by U.S. Postal Service to the Social Security Administration at: Data Operations Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001.
  • If you file at the last minute and must use a private delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express to get it there overnight, the address is different: Data Operations Center, ATTN: W-2 Process, 1150 E. Mountain Drive, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702-7997.

Corrected forms should be sent to: Data Operations Center, P.O. Box 3333, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18767-3333 if you send them by regular mail. If you send them by private delivery service, use the same 1150 E. Mountain Drive address you would use for original copies sent overnight. 

Avoid Fines and Penalties by Filing W-2 Forms on Time

The penalties for late filing of W-2 forms are steep. Chron says that as of 2018, you can be fined between $50 and $260 per form, depending on how late your mailing is. Just to be clear, these fines are PER W-2 Form. Late filing of 10 forms might result in penalties of $500 to $2600 and up, depending on the late filing date.

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