Employers Face New W-2 Deadline; Some Refunds Delayed

Published on November 28, 2016

Employers and small businesses have a new January filing deadline for W-2s, the Internal Revenue Service warned, adding that it must also hold some refunds until Feb. 15.

A new federal law accelerates the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31. The new law also requires the IRS to hold refunds involving two key refundable tax credits until at least Feb. 15.

Last December’s PATH Act enacted the new requirement that employers file their copies of the W-2 submitted to the Social Security Administration, by Jan. 31. The new deadline also applies to certain 1099-MISCs.

Previously, employers typically had until the end of February if filing on paper or until the end of March if e-filing to submit their copies of these forms.

In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the W-2: Only one 30-day extension to file a W-2 is available; this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 must be filed as soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 31.

The Jan. 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees; that date remains unchanged.

Due to the PATH Act change, the new law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.
(Source:  AccountingToday – Tax Watch – TaxproToday – November 2, 2016)