Where to Get W-2 Forms and 1099-MISC Forms

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The deadline for filing W-2 and W-3 forms with the Social Security Administration (SSA) was changed effective with 2016 payments and going forward. The filing deadline was January 31, 2018 for 2017 tax year forms. The deadline for giving W-2 forms to employees remained at Jan. 31.

The Jan. 31 deadline also applies to 1099-MISC forms for non-employees. You must give these forms to independent contractors and other non-employees by Jan. 31, and you must also submit the forms to the Internal Revenue Service by Jan. 31. 

If the Jan. 31 date falls on a weekend or holiday in subsequent years, the deadline is the next business day.

W-2 Forms and 1099-MISC Forms 

January can be a hectic time for businesses. You can save yourself some stress by getting your annual payroll tax reporting forms in advance.

If you have employees, you must give them Forms W-2, the annual wage and tax forms they'll need to complete and file their income tax returns. If you hire contract workers or other businesses, including attorneys, you must give them 1099-MISC forms if you pay them more than $600 over the course of the year.

Where to Get the Forms

Major office supply stores have packets of W-2 forms and 1099-MISC forms that you can print out on your own printer. They might be available in your local store or you can usually order them online.

Your local accounting firm should have these forms as well. If you don't have an accounting firm, it might be time to find a good CPA or other tax professional to help you with your business taxes. An accountant can take your payroll information and file W-2 forms and 1099-MISC forms for you in addition to helping you complete your business tax return.

TurboTax Home & Business and H&R Block AtHome Premium & Business can also help you prepare W-2s and 1099s.

And if you begin early enough, you should still have time to order tax forms directly from the IRS. Go to their online forms ordering page for more information. Current forms are usually available after Dec. 1.

Where You Cannot Get W-2 Forms 

You cannot download W-2 forms or 1099-MISC forms from the internet, not even from the IRS. Copy A of the W-2 form is a specific color of red ink that cannot be duplicated. You must file the specific IRS form of Copy A with the Social Security Administration at the end of January. 

Submitting Isn't Filing!

Don't forget that after you provide W-2 forms to employees and 1099-MISC forms to contract workers, you must also file these forms with the appropriate federal agency by January 31.

Filing W-2 Forms and 1099-MISC Forms Online

You can file W-2 forms online directly with the Social Security Administration through their Business Services Online portal. You can file 1099-MISC forms and other 1099 forms online as well with the IRS through the FIRE System (Filing Electronic Returns Electronically) online.

If you file 250 or more returns, you must file electronically—you don't have a choice.