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Preparing Your Business for New Filing Deadlines

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 29 2016

By Von Gammon, Principal, CPA

Vawter, Gammon, Norris & Company, PC

A reminder to employers and small businesses of the new January 31 filing deadline for Form W-2.

A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will

accelerate by a month the W-2 filing deadline for employers from February 28 to January 31.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers.  They are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31.  The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.  As it relates to Form 1099-MISC, the new filing deadline will only impact filers that report nonemployee compensation payments in box 7.

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. Also, 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 needed, 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 no later than by January 31.

The new accelerated deadline is intended to help the IRS improve its efforts to spot errors on taxpayer filed returns.  Receiving 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. According to the IRS, it will make it easier to release tax refunds more quickly.

The January 31 deadline remains unchanged and has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees.

We anticipate the new deadline will increase your businesses workload.  To minimize stress, we recommend the following steps:

  • Verify your employee filing status and confirm their mailing addresses before December 31, 2016.
  • Verify form W-9 information (for your 1099-Misc contractors) is completely up to date and accurate.
  • Collect all the necessary information to ensure your forms are “good-to-go” on or about Monday, January 2, 2017.

The professionals at Vawter, Gammon, Norris and Company, P.C. can answer any questions you may have about the new filing deadlines and how they will impact your business.  Call us today.

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