Employees call Payroll every year saying they’ve lost their W-2s.
Dealing with such requests can become a time-consuming headache, especially for larger organizations. Here are some tips for managing the reissued W-2 process.
√ Separate requests for reissued W-2s from other requests by having employees submit paper or email request forms. Ask that they put a specific phrase in the subject line, something like “Reissued W-2 Request.”
√ Trust but verify. Have employees personally authenticate their requests before reissuing W-2s. Why the extra step? This prevents ex-spouses from forging signatures, impedes creditors who want to attach employees’ pay and thwarts identity thieves from obtaining employees’ tax information.
√ Deliver smart. Personally release reissued W-2s only to employees. Have the employee sign for it. If employees can’t pick up their forms, overnight the document to them at their expense. One idea: You could release reissued W-2s once a week, on a day that’s convenient for you.
√ Identify the new version. Always type REISSUED STATEMENT at the top of a reissued form.
√ Add a cost. Charge employees a low but reasonable fee for reissued forms.
One advantage: Requiring employees to pay may encourage them to be more careful next year. But take note: Charging employees may violate wage-and-hour laws if the fee causes their wages to fall below the minimum wage.
√ Don’t send to SSA. Do not file Copy A of a reissued form with the Social Security Administration.
√ Assist the procrastinators. Have tax extension Form 4868 available for employees who contact you just before April 17.
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