Just because you’re filing W-2s with the Social Security Administration (SSA) months earlier doesn’t mean that employees will be any more conscientious about looking after their copies until they file their 1040s. In fact, the opposite is probably true: they’re more apt to lose them.
Best bet: a solid policy on reissued W-2s.
- Separate requests for reissued W-2s from other requests by having employees submit paper or email request forms. The email subject line should read “Reissued W-2 Request.” Have a dedicated voice-mail extension if you allow employees to phone in their requests.
- Don’t provide reissued W-2s until employees personally verify and authenticate their requests in writing. Why: This prevents ex-spouses from forging signatures, impedes creditors who want to attach employees’ pay and thwarts identity thieves from obtaining employees’ tax information.
- Release reissued W-2s to employees personally and have them sign for them. If employees can’t pick up their forms, overnight forms to them at their expense.
- Always type REISSUED STATEMENT at the top of a reissued form.
- Release reissued W-2s once a week, on a day that’s convenient for you.
- Charge employees a low but reasonable fee for reissued forms. Advantage: Requiring employees to pay may encourage them to be more careful next year. Critical: Charging low-income employees may violate federal or state wage/hour laws, if the fee causes their wages to fall below the statutory minimum wage.
- Don’t file Copy A of a reissued form with the SSA.
- Have tax extension form, Form 4868, available for employees who contact you on April 17.
Below, you’ll find a sample form employees can use to request a reissued W-2.
Click the image to download.