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National Tax Office


W-2 Filing Date Changed

Last Updated: October 26, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close and we consider all of the information returns that need to be filed, remember, the due date for filing 2016 Forms W-2 and W-3 (including specialized versions of those forms) has moved forward to January 31, 2017. That date will be the same for electronic or paper filing.  In prior years, the date for filing paper copies was the end of February or, if done electronically, March 31 following the reporting year-end.

Social Security Extension No Longer Automatic
In addition, the automatic extension of time that was formerly available for filing Form W-2 with the Social Security Administration (SSA) has now changed. To get an extension, due on or after January 1, 2017, a Form 8809 (Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns) must be filed to request an extension. The application isn't automatic and will need to include a detailed explanation as to why the extension is needed, and it will be signed under penalty of perjury. The IRS will only grant an extension to file Form W-2 for one 30-day period. No additional extensions will be issued.

According to the IRS, extensions will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe. And, the extension to file with the SSA does not change the time for furnishing a Form W-2 to an employee.

Extensions for Employee W-2s
To request an extension of time to furnish Forms W-2, or an acceptable substitute, to employees, a letter needs to be sent to the IRS. The letter needs to be sent prior to the due date for furnishing Forms W-2 to employees, which for 2016 is generally January 31, 2017.

The information required to be provided in the letter is similar to what is requested on Form 8809. The request for extension is not automatically granted. If the request for extension is approved, the extension for furnishing employee Forms W-2 will generally be for no more than 15 days, unless the need for 30 days is clearly shown in the request information. And, according to the instructions, requests for an extension of time to furnish recipient statements for more than 10 payers must be submitted electronically.

You can send extensions for furnishing employee Forms W-2 to:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Extension of Time Coordinator
240 Murall Drive, Mail Stop 4360
Kearneysville, WV  25430

Contact your Eide Bailly professional for assistance or for additional information. 

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