The skies are cloudy, the leaves are changing, the air is cool and brisk—and in this profession, that means time to think about year-end prep for payroll departments.
First order of business—purchase W-2 stock. Most vendors have discount pricing and you should either be buying now or placed and received your orders. Remember to order enough stock to cover new hires, new clients (if you are a payroll provider) and an ample supply for corrections and reprints. Don’t underestimate what you need—it can be very difficult and pricy to place an emergency order in mid-January.
Also, don’t forget to order Forms 1094-C and 1095-C if you are an Applicable Large Employer. The issue is that—as of the writing of this article on September 9, 2015—the IRS has not finalized the forms, so you cannot order yet. Keep checking, though, because they will hopefully be available to order soon.
Lately, there’s been a lot of press about accelerated W-2 filing for federal returns. Please be aware that any acceleration of the filing dates (federal paper February 28/29, electronic March 31) will take an Act of Congress. It isn’t expected that the federal W-2 filing will be moved up anytime soon—it’ll probably be 2017 at the earliest for 2016 W-2s, and that doesn’t even look likely at this point.
However, there is a new initiative (JCX-108-15) recently prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation on September 11, 2015, that could make this happen in the 2016 tax year with an employer filing date of 15 days after the employee form W-2 distribution deadline (making the deadline February 15).
It’s important to note that state W-2s are a whole other issue. There are several states that now have January 31 as filing dates for state W-2s and more are changing. The states that now require W-2s to be filed electronically by January 31 are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. More states are expected to follow, and Puerto Rico also has these requirements.
Utah also has a unique stipulation in its tax code, which states that no refunds will be processed until the employer copy is filed and processed.
For your reference, here is a list of the due dates by state.
|Electronic State W-2 Due Dates|
|AK||None||IN||Jan 31 – 2016 new||NE||1-Feb||RI||Last day of Feb|
|AZ||28-Feb||IA||n/a||NV||None||SC||Last day of Feb|
|AR||28-Feb||KS||Last day of Feb||NH||None||SD||None|
|CA||n/a||KY||31-Jan||NJ||Last day of Feb||TN||None|
|CO||31-Mar||LA||First bus day after Feb 27||NM||Last day of Feb||TX||None|
|CT||31-Mar||ME||31-Mar||NY||n/a||UT||Jan 31 – 2016|
|DE||31-Mar||MD||Last day of Feb||NC||Last Day of Feb||VT||28-Feb|
|HI||Last day of Feb||MS||31-Mar||OR||31-Mar||WI||31-Jan|
|ID||28-Feb||MO||Last day of Feb||PA||31-Jan||WY||None|