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Employers, Be Prepared: New Payroll Tax Filing Deadlines!

You’ve heard about the IRS’ ongoing battle to combat fraud committed by people filing income tax returns and claiming refunds belonging to honest taxpayers. In its effort to limit these occurrences, the IRS changed the payroll return due dates for W2’s and some 1099’s.

Beginning in 2017, with 2016 forms, employers must now file all employee and agency W2’s by January 31. Paper and electronic copies must be filed at the same time.

Previously, employers were required to provide W2’s to employees by January 31 each year, but could wait until February 28 to submit paper filings to the Social Security Administration (SSA), or file electronically by March 31.

Clearly, this gap left some lag time during which the IRS couldn’t compare its filings with Social Security records. These changes will enable the IRS to quickly verify W2 information provided on tax returns against data provided to the SSA.

This same Jan. 31 deadline applies to Form 1099-Misc if you’re reporting amounts in Box 7, Nonemployee Compensation. If you don’t list amounts in Box 7, you retain the original deadlines: February 28 for paper filings and March 31 for electronic.

The changes also mean employers may need to start preparing earlier to complete year-end tasks by the deadline, such as:

  • Confirm employee information is still accurate
  • Promptly review year-end totals for discrepancies, and encourage employees to review their W2’s thoroughly and immediately raise any questions they may have
  • Report any year-end adjustments as soon as possible

Many states also adopted the federal deadline changes, and some may yet do so. Check with your state Department of Revenue if you’re uncertain on your state’s position.

For assistance with payroll and other tax and accounting matters, the experienced team at Patrick & Robinson CPAs is available to help.

Contact us at or 904-396-5400.

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