Congress requires W-2s and W-3s be filed with the IRS and Social Security administration by January 31 starting with reports filed in 2017. Previously, the deadline for sending reports to the government was February 28 by paper and March 31 for electronic filing.
The same, accelerated deadline applies for 1099s which have non-employee comp reported in box 7.
You can see more details in an 11/4 article at Forbes: Compressed Deadlines and Higher Penalties for Forms 1099 and W-2.
In addition to the deadline for filing getting accelerated, the penalties for dropping the ball in 2017 are getting more severe.
The previous penalty for general failure is going from $100 per return to $250 each. That applies to the copy provided to the employee or contractor and also for the copy provided to the government.
Intentional failure to file penalty is going from $250 per return up to $500 each. Ignore the rules and the penalty thus is $1,000 for each W-2 and 1099 that ought to have been filed.
Late filing within 30 days (1/31 + 30 days = 3/2) can result in a fine of $50 per form.
Late filing after 30 days but before 8/1 can generate a fine of $100 per form.
Remember to double those fines for the government and recipient copies.
Time to get ready
Time to double-check your documents and records and stock of forms to make sure you can get filed on time and accurately.
And by the way, if you have, um, sorta like, kinda’ ‘forgot’ to file in the past, now would really, really be a great time to figure out how to get those forms prepared and filed.
Two hints for you. You can order all the forms you want from the IRS for free. Check out their website here to order products. You could also go to the irs.gov site and search on “order products” or “order forms.”
Your accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Peachtree, will have options built-in to easily print 1099s, 1096s, W-2s, and W-3s. Look around for a minute or two and you will find the options. Check it out early because you may need to get some information from some vendors before you can print the forms. The fines also apply to incomplete forms, say if you didn’t report taxpayer identification numbers for some vendors.