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Federal Form W2, Wage and Tax Statements

Updated on June 06, 2024 - 10:30am by, TaxBandits

Employers running businesses in the US must file W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, with the SSA, and a form copy must be sent to the employees every year. The Form W2 is used to report the wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from their paychecks. This must be issued at the end of the year. All full-time employees are subject to W-2 withholding.

Now, you may have many questions regarding W-2, like how to file W-2, when are the deadlines, and so on. In this article, we will address all the information you should know about Form W-2 for 2023.

1. What is a W2 Form?

Form W2 is an annual tax return that must be submitted to the SSA by the employers. This form reports the wages paid and the Federal and State taxes withheld from the employees’ paycheck. The SSA will use the W2 instructions to determine the Social Security benefits for each employee.

For each employee, you must file this form with the SSA. A copy of the form must also be furnished to the employee.

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Note: Don’t File a W2 for independent contractors/vendors, instead, 1099 forms must be filed.

2. Who must file IRS Form W2?

Employers must file Form W-2, if:

  • They withheld any income, social security, or Medicare Tax from wages regardless of the
    amount of wages.
  • They paid $600 or more in wages even if there was no withheld income, social security, or Medicare tax.

Details such as SSN, EIN, wages, bonuses, tips, and taxes withheld must be reported in Form W-2. Employers must also report Income, Social Security, or Medicare taxes withheld. While submitting Form W-2 to the SSA, employers must attach Form W-3, a summary form. Form W-3 is not required when submitting W-2s electronically.

Form Type E-filing Paper filing Employee copy deadline
Form W2 January 31, 2021 January 31, 2021 January 31, 2021
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If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the next business day is the deadline.

3. What's New to Form W2 for 2023 tax year?

The IRS has made a few changes to Form W-2 for 2023 tax year. These changes are listed below:

  • For the 2023 tax year, the social security wage limit has been increased from $147,000 to $160,200.
  • The penalty rate for Form W-2 has been increased due to an adjustment for inflation.

Click here for more detailed information about the latest Form W-2 updates.

4. When is the deadline to file Form W2 for 2023 Tax Year?

The SSA requires employers to submit their W2s on or before January 31. The W2 form copies should be sent to employees before January 31. If you fail to file W-2 with the SSA or furnish employee copies, you will be
subject to penalties.

Form W2 deadlines - 2023

Form Type E-filing Paper filing Employee copy deadline
Form W2 January 31, 2024 January 31, 2024 January 31, 2024
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Note: If the Form W-2 deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the next business day is the deadline.

5. Which states mandate the filing of Form W2?

For the tax year 2023, 40 states have mandated the filing of W-2 forms. Each state follows its own set of rules for the filing of W2. Based on your state requirements, you may have to file W-2s and other reconciliation forms with the state. To learn more about your W-2 state filing requirement, click here.

6. What are the different W-2 Filing methods?

The SSA provides two different methods for filing W-2. One is electronic filing, and the other method is paper filing. If you decide to paper file, you should attach W-3 with your Form W2 and send it to the SSA. When filing electronically, W-3 is not required, and the SSA processes your forms at a faster rate. Comparing these two methods, e-filing is more convenient and offers many advantages. E-filing is:

  • Easy and straightforward
  • Accurate and error-free
  • Allows for tracking of the return status
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IRS recommends filers to E-File Form W2 Online for a quick filing process. You can now E-File Form W2 with TaxBandits in Minutes. Also, We deliver Employee Copies via Postal Mail and Online Access

7. How Do I Fill Out Form W2?

The IRS provides complete instructions to fill out Form W2. Each box of the form should be filled with the appropriate information in order to be accepted by the SSA.

To fill out Form W-2, you must have the following details.

  • Employee Information: EIN, Name , Address and ZIP code.
  • Employer Information: SSN, Employer Name, Address and ZIP code.
  • Wages, tips, other compensation
  • Federal income tax withheld
  • Social security wages, tips, and tax withheld
  • Medicare wages, tips and tax withheld
  • Allocated tips
  • State and Local tax withheld Information

Click here to learn more about the Form W2 instructions.

8. What are the Form W-2 Copies?

These are the available Form W-2 copies:

  • Copy A - To be sent to Social Security Administration
  • Copy 1 - To be sent to City, State, or Locality
  • Copy B - To be filed with Employee’s Federal Tax Return
  • Copy C - For employee's records
  • Copy 2 - To be filed with Employee’s State, City, or LocalIncome Tax Return
  • Copy D - For employer's records

9. What if I realize that I filed an incorrect W-2?

If you made a mistake on Form W-2, you must file Form W-2c. Form W-2c is a correction form used by employers to correct the errors made on the previously submitted W-2s. Employers must also file W-3c with W-2c. A copy of W-2c should be sent to employees once you file correction forms.

The SSA requires that employers attach W-3c with W-2c even if they only file a Form W-2c to correct an employee's name or Social Security number (SSN).

Tips to avoid W-2 errors

  • Make sure to enter the correct EIN, SSN, and tax year.
  • Make sure you report the wages, tips, and withheld tax amount accurately.
  • File Form W-2 on or before the deadline to avoid penalties
  • File Form W-2c as soon as you find errors on your previously submitted W-2s

10. What are the W-2 penalties for 2023?

The SSA will penalize you if you fail to file W-2s or distribute employee copies, you will be subject to penalties. The penalties related to W-2 are listed below:

Days delayed for filing
Form W2 /furnishing employee copies
Large Businesses with Gross Receipts of $5 Million or more Small Businesses with Gross Receipts $5 Million or less
Less than 30 days late $60 per return $60 per return
31 days late –
August 1
$120 per return $120 per return
After August 1 or Not at All $310 per return $310 per return
Intentional Disregard $630 per return $630 per return

Click here to learn more about Form W2 Penalties

11. Where to mail Form W-2 paper copies?

If you are paper filing Form W-2, you need to mail W-2 paper copies to the following address:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Direct Operations Center
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001

Click here, to get more information on the Form W-2 mailing address.

12. How to Read Form W-2?

Reading a Form W-2 might initially seem complex, but it becomes simpler with familiarity. The form comprises 26 boxes, with Box A to F containing identification details of the employer and the employee, while Box 1 to 20 report the employee's wages and tax withholding information. Notably, the W-2 box 12 consists of 4 sections (12 a -12 d) and each box reports the codes (A-HH) to indicate various miscellaneous income.For a more comprehensive understanding, refer to the detailed instructions for Form W-2.

13. What is the difference between a W2 form and W4 form?

The main difference between a W-2 form and a W-4 form is their purpose in the payroll process. Employees are required to fill out a W-4 form at the beginning of their employment to specify how much income should be withheld from their paychecks for taxes. On the other hand, the W-2 form is used by employers to report the wages and tax withholdings made from the employee's paycheck during the year. In general, the information provided in the W-4 form guides the withholding process, while the W-2 form summarizes the actual income and taxes withheld. Learn more in detail about Form W-2 vs W-4.

14. What is the difference between a W2 Form and 1099 Form?

Form W-2 is used to report payments and tax withholdings for employees from their paychecks throughout the year. On the other hand, Form 1099 is utilized by employers or individuals to report payments made to non-employees, such as contractors or freelancers, who are not part of the regular payroll. Learn more in detail about Form W2 vs 1099.

15. E-filing W-2s with TaxBandits

TaxBandits is a leading IRS-authorized e-file provider. We support the e-filing of W-2 with both the SSA and states. We have updated our application as per the most recent updates from the IRS.

Choose TaxBandits as your e-filing partner and experience the following benefits:

  • Postal Mailing and online access option
  • Inbuilt error checks
  • Support for both manual filing and bulk filings
  • Prepaid credits for hassle-free filing
  • Support of state filing

Want to e-file W-2 with the SSA and states? Get started with TaxBandits today.

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