Nope, we’re not referring to Halloween, although it is our favorite holiday (all that leftover candy that comes into the office on Nov. 1!).
It’s year-end time. Horrifying, we know. And this year-end will be particularly challenging, as you adjust to the new accelerated, consolidated federal filing deadline of Jan. 31, 2017.
What you need to do now
Early prep is the key to conquering the new deadline:
- Ask employees to confirm their mailing addresses and Social Security numbers. Use the Social Security Administration’s Social Security Number Verification service for SSNs that don’t match your records.
- Determine how many W-2s you’ll need. Rule of thumb: Order more paper forms than you think you’ll need—125% is recommended.
- Review employees’ consents to receive their forms electronically.
- Arrange for outside third-party vendors—such as payers of sick pay and 401(k) administrators—to provide you with W-2 information by the first week of January. Make the same deal with Accounts Payable (for taxable employee reimbursements) and Benefits (for W-2, Box 12 reporting, as well as 1095 reporting).
- Reconcile year-to-date figures with your third-quarter Form 914 and make adjustments accordingly.
Don’t forget the states
Last year, a handful of states pushed up their W-2 filing deadlines, even before Congress changed the federal deadline. This year, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Vermont have accelerated and consolidated their paper and electronic filing deadlines to conform to the federal Jan. 31, 2017, deadline.
Employers in Nebraska must file by Feb. 1, 2017.