The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds employers and small businesses of the new January 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2 and may also hold some refunds until February 15.
Employers – W-2 Deadline
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 by January 31. The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors. The January 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees and that date remains unchanged.
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. In addition, 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 necessary, 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 by January 31.
The new law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.