By Feb. 1, employees must receive their W-2s, and the IRS must receive your fourth-quarter Form 941 and Forms 940 and 945 (a Feb. 1 postmark is OK, too). So let’s get cracking.
√ If you need an extension of time to file W-2s, 1099s or 1095s, file Form 8809 with the IRS.
√ Complete AIR system testing for e-filing Forms 1095-C.
√ Renew third-party designee status on Forms 940 and 945.
√ Review states’ filing deadlines and mandatory e-filing thresholds for W-2s.
√ Review wage and tax categories. Before processing W-2s and the fourth-quarter 941, verify that the general ledger employer/employee withholding liability accounts balance. Make correcting journal entries for out-of-balance situations caused by year-end adjustments.
√ Complete your fourth-quarter 941 first, then balance the 941 and W-2 totals.
What must balance: Social Security and Medicare wages/taxes and federal income tax withheld.
√ Use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) free Accuwage software to flag critical errors before distributing W-2s.
√ Verify data before a preliminary printing of W-2s on plain paper.
Watch: Employees’ Social Security numbers; employees whose wages exceed the 2015 Social Security wage base; benefits reported in Boxes 10 and 12; check marks in Box 13; and state/local totals. Match totals to a reconciliation worksheet.
√ Verify that employees sign requests for duplicate, corrected or early W-2s and that signatures are legitimate. This ensures that ex-spouses or ID thieves haven’t slipped one by employees.
√ For corrected W-2s issued to employees prior to filing, check the Void Box on Copy A, and insert “Corrected” at the top of Copies B, C and 2.
√ Notify the mailroom of the date W-2s will be mailed. Remind mailroom personnel to have sufficient postage in the postage machine.
W-3 WORKSHEET: Use this worksheet to reconcile your four quarterly 941s and W-2s, so the amounts you report to the SSA and the IRS match.