W-2 and 1099 Filing Deadlines Compressed Next Year

The deadlines for filing the Form W-2 with the Social Security Administration and the Form 1099-MISC with the Internal Revenue Service are changing next year.

Starting in 2017, for the 2016 reporting year, both the W-2 and 1099-MISC recipient copies need to be submitted by January 31, whether by paper or electronic filing. That is months earlier than previous year and promises to increase both workloads and stress levels for companies and their accountants alike.

Making matters even more complicated, the new filing deadline, as it relates to Form 1099-MISC, only affects filers that report nonemployee compensation payments in box 7. The overwhelming majority of 1099-MISC filers will report information in box 7, so there’s sure to be plenty of confusion.

Greatland Corporation, a provider of W-2 and 1099 products for businesses, is stressing the importance of understanding the new deadlines and the impact they will have on filers. “In the 40+ years Greatland has been helping businesses with W-2 & 1099 reporting, I would rank this as one of the most significant changes,” said Greatland CEO Bob Nault in a statement.

Historically, filers have been required to provide both W-2 and 1099-MISC forms to their recipients by January 31. However, in the past they were not required to submit the forms to the Social Security Administration or the IRS until February 28 for paper forms or March 31 for e-filing.

With three months of work being condensed into 30 days, the change is likely to add plenty of work for filers next January. On top of that, the filing deadlines for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C also come on January 31 for recipient delivery, Greatland pointed out. This compressed schedule means businesses will face a time crunch when they need to do wage, income, and Affordable Care Act-related reporting for 2016.

Before the deadline change, businesses would be able to file W-2 and 1099-MISC recipient copies first and then wait to learn if any changes are needed before filing with the Social Security Administration or the IRS, which reduced the risk for possible corrections. Unfortunately, thanks to the advanced deadline next year, businesses might need to abandon that strategy and consider filing with the recipients and the SSA and IRS at the same time.

But that’s not all. To further complicate the multiple filing deadlines in January, the IRS recently eliminated the automatic 30-day extension of time to file W-2 forms. Before that, filers could automatically get a 30-day extension by submitting Form 8809 to the IRS on or before January 31. Filers were also able to request an additional 30-day extension, so they could push their e-file deadline out to the end of May. Now those automatic extensions won’t be available for business that need to file their W-2 forms for tax year 2016.

For more information, visit Greatland’s W-2 and 1099 fact center website.

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