W-2 and 1099 Tax Report Deadlines for 2019 Taxes

And How to Use the Online Filing Option

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Image shows a circle that reads "January 31, 2020" and four branches off of it. Text reads: "W-2 and 1099 Tax Report Deadlines for 2019: W-2 Forms and 1099-MISC Forms. W-2 Forms to SSA and 1099-MISC forms to IRS. Unemployment tax forms. Form 941 - Quarterly federal tax form"

The Balance 2019

Businesses must prepare tax reporting forms for all of their employees as part of their tax filing obligations. Generally, W-2 forms are used for full-time workers and the 1099-MISC is used for contractors and other non-employees. Businesses must also file a Form W-3 or Form 1096 as a summary of their W-2 and 1099 reporting unless they file the documents online.

For the 2019 tax year, employers must provide employees with a W-2 by Jan. 31, 2020. The same deadline applies for completing and providing the 1099-MISC. Both W-3 and 1096 summation forms are also due to the appropriate government agency by Jan. 31, 2020, unless you file online.

The reporting deadlines and the date for submitting forms to employees are the same. Try to give forms to employees and non-employees before the end of January so there is time for any errors to be corrected.

Early Filing Dates for Individual States

The W-2 and 1099-MISC are used by workers on both their federal and state taxes. Some states may have an earlier filing date requirement so it can also be important to check individual state deadlines for payroll filings. Check on the filing date and other requirements for your state by going to your state tax division.

Penalties for Late Filing

The IRS has penalties for employers who do not comply with tax filing deadlines with the IRS and Social Security Administration deadlines. Penalties may be imposed if you do one of the following:

  • Fail to file the correct forms by the due date
  • Have intentional disregard of filing requirements
  • Fail to furnish W-2 or 1099 to workers
  • File the wrong form for a worker (giving a 1099-MISC to someone who should receive a W-2)

Penalties can be charged on a per return basis with a maximum level set by the IRS.

If you aren't sure whether to send a W-2 or a 1099-MISC to someone, read about who should receive a W-2 or a 1099-MISC. If you have made payments to a non-employee and you aren't sure if they should receive a 1099-MISC read more about who must receive a 1099-MISC.

Filing W-2s and 1099-MISC Forms Online

You may want to file your W-2s and 1099-MISC forms online. If you have more than 250 information forms of each type to file, you must file online in 2020. The requirement for filing online changes in 2021, when you must file online if you have 100 or more forms of each type. Beginning in 2022, you must file online if you have 10 or more forms of each type.

To file W-2s online, you can use the Social Security's Business Services Online portal.

To file 1099-MISC forms online, you can use the File Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system, or use tax accounting software or a payroll service.

If you file these returns online, you don't need to include transmittal forms (W-3 for W-2 forms or Form 1096 for 1099-MISC forms).

Other Annual Payroll Tax Reports Due in January 2020

In addition to the annual wage and tax reports for employees and non-employees, you have several other payroll tax reports due on January 31.

Help With Preparing and Filing Wage and Tax Reports

If this is your first time filing W-2 forms and 1099-MISC forms, learn the process of preparing, filing, printing, and sending W-2 forms. For 1099-MISC forms, read more about what to do before you prepare these forms, and then follow the step-by-step directions for completing the forms.

Article Sources

  1. IRS. "2019 General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3." Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  2. New Jersey Division of Taxation. "New Jersey Tax Calendar January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020." Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  3. IRS. "Increase in Information Return Penalties." Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  4. U.S. Congress. H.R. 3151. "Sec. 2301. Electronic Filing of Returns," Page 32. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  5. Social Security Administration. "Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information." Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  6. IRS. "Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)." Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  7. IRS. "2019 Instructions for Form 940," Page 3. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

  8. IRS. "Instructions for Form 941," Page 4. Accessed Dec. 30, 2019.