October 17, 2017
It's time to confirm Form W-2 filing due dates, and here's our latest state survey
Thanks to legislation passed in 2015 to assist the IRS in curtailing tax fraud, the Form W-2 filing due date is much earlier — across all US jurisdictions. Furthermore, federal penalties for late or incorrect information returns have more than doubled in recent years, making it paramount that payroll departments maintain a high level of accuracy while also working faster than ever to prepare and balance year-end files.
States are following the federal lead, with a number of them adopting the earlier deadline for filing Forms W-2.
To assist you in your 2017 year-end planning, we conducted a preliminary survey of the state Form W-2 filing deadlines, shown here. This survey will be updated again at the end of December 2017.
Federal Form W-2 and 1099-Misc filing due dates — a refresher
Starting with 2016 returns required to be filed in 2017, Forms W-2 and Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation, whether filed on paper or electronically, are due January 31, 2017, the same day that employees/payees must receive their copies.
The filing deadline for other information returns, including Forms 1099-MISC other than those for non-employee compensation, is unchanged.
Also starting with filings due on and after January 1, 2017, extensions of the deadline to file Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration (SSA) are no longer automatic, and only one 30-day extension will be granted. In reviewing Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, the IRS will grant extensions only in extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe, and employers granted extensions must demonstrate that employees paid the tax by using Form 4669, Statement of Payments Received, and Form 4670, Request for Relief of Payment of Certain Withholding Taxes. (2016 General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3, pg.1.)
Watch this if you use a third-party service provider. Employers that rely on a third party to prepare and file their Forms W-2 may be required to finalize their year-end files far sooner than January 31. Be certain you are aware of your third-party provider's closing dates, keeping in mind that correcting Forms W-2 and related amended returns can be costly.
Most states conform to the earlier Form W-2 due date this year
A number of states conformed to the new federal rule by also accelerating their Form W-2 filing due dates.
State due dates for providing and filing Forms W-2
Based on Ernst & Young LLP survey results as of October 2017.
*It varies from state to state whether the deadline is extended to the next business day when it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. Check with the state taxing authority for more information. There is no state income tax in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington or Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee require income tax only from interest and dividends.
**See state notes
California. Forms W-2 are not filed with the state. Instead, Form DE-9C is used to report individual personal income tax wages and withholding on a quarterly basis.
Colorado. For electronic filing, the annual reconciliation form is required if additional tax is due or if the employer is expecting a refund. Otherwise, by filing electronically, the employer is precluding itself from filing the annual reconciliation form. Paper filers must file the reconciliation form.
Hawaii. According to a senior representative of the Hawaii Department of Taxation, there are currently no plans to change the Form W-2 deadline to January 31 to match federal.
Idaho. A five-business-day window after the January 31 due date is provided for an employer to correct errors in the electronic file received timely by the Tax Commission.
Illinois. Proposed regulations will change the filing deadline for Forms W-2 from February 15 to January 31 for calendar year 2017. Another pending change would require all employers to file, rather than just those that are required to file electronically with the SSA. Through calendar year 2016, due in 2017, only those employers that must file Form W-2 information electronically with the SSA, and all payroll service providers were required to file electronically with the Illinois Department of Revenue (employers not required to file electronically with the SSA need not have submitted Forms W-2). (Email, Illinois Department of Revenue, September 2017.)
Iowa. Effective with calendar year 2017, due in 2018, all employers are required to file Forms W-2 electronically with Form VSP. A waiver from the requirement to file electronically may be requested until calendar year 2018, due in 2019, for cases of hardship. Prior to calendar year 2016, Iowa did not require Forms W-2 to be filed with the VSP Annual Reconciliation. Effective with calendar year 2016, employers with 50 or more employees were required to submit Forms W-2 electronically with Form VSP.
Maine. Employers report withheld state income tax on the quarterly tax report. A separate reconciliation return (Form W-3ME) must be filed. Employers of 250 or more employees must file Forms W-2 and the annual reconciliation (Form W-3ME) electronically with Maine Revenue Services. For employers of fewer than 250 employees, Forms W-2 are not required unless the employer fails to report the W-2 information quarterly.
Michigan. Per a Michigan Department of Treasury representative and the Form 5081 instructions, the deadline will remain at February 28, 2018, for calendar year 2018.
New Jersey. The statutory deadline to file is February 15, but administrative policy extends the deadline to the last day of February. The deadline for submitting calendar year 2017 Forms W-2 did not change to January 31 to match federal.
New Mexico. Employers that file a Form ES-903, Wage and Contribution Report, with the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department or Form TRD-31109 with the Taxation and Revenue Department do not need to submit Forms W-2 or the annual reconciliation form to the state. According to a Tax Department representative, there are no plans at this time to change the deadline from February 28, 2018 for calendar year 2017.
New York. New York wage and tax information is reported quarterly on Form NYS-45. Employers do not submit Forms W-2 to the state.
Ohio. Currently, only employers of 250 or more employees must file Forms W-2 magnetically. Smaller employers are not required to submit paper copies of Forms W-2 (state Form IT-2) to the Department of Taxation but must continue to maintain W-2 records for four years. Effective January 1, 2015, Ohio employers are required to file all withholding tax returns except Forms W-2 electronically. Proposed regulation changes would require all Ohio employers to file Forms W-2 electronically; however, these changes are not expected to be in effect for calendar year 2017.
Oklahoma. Effective for calendar year 2016, employers are required to electronically file an annual withholding tax reconciliation return and corresponding Forms W-2 by the February 28 following the tax year. According to an Oklahoma Tax Commission representative, there are currently no plans to conform to the new federal Forms W-2 deadline of January 31 for calendar year 2017. Prior to calendar year 2016, Oklahoma employers were not required to submit Forms W-2 or an annual reconciliation return to the OTC.
Oregon. Forms W-2 are filed electronically only; paper W-2s or other forms of media are not accepted.
West Virginia. All employers, including those that file the Forms W-2 electronically with the West Virginia State Tax Department, must also file Form WV/IT-103, Annual Reconciliation of West Virginia Income Tax Withheld. Failure to submit Form WV/IT-103 each year may result in the denial of Letters of Good Standing and prevent potential refund requests from being processed. Also, West Virginia law allows for a penalty of $25 per employee for failure to timely file this information.The state will not match the new federal Form W-2 deadline of January 31 for calendar year 2017.
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