Et tu, W-2? Replacing misplaced forms
Panicky phone calls to the Payroll department from employees who lost their original W-2s are about as predictable as the sun rising in the east. You need a strategy for dealing with the reissued W-2 process.
√ 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 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-and-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 15.
SAMPLE FORM: Below, you’ll find a sample form employees can use to request a reissued W-2.
Click the image to download.