It was last year at about this time that the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act went into effect, which, among other new regulations, changed the deadline by which employers must send copies of their W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration.
Under the previous system, employers had until the end of February or March (depending on whether they were using paper or electronic submission) to submit these forms. Under the PATH Act, that deadline has been moved up to January 31. In addition, new rules allow for only one 30-day extension to submit your W-2, and your application for extension (Form 8809) must be submitted by January 31.
By providing the IRS with W-2s earlier on, it is hoped that they can more effectively validate federal tax claims and reduce the occurrence of tax refund fraud. Many state authorities have followed the federal government’s example. Georgia is among 35 states in the U.S. that have also adopted the accelerated W-2 filing deadline.
However, it appears that word of last year’s change did not reach many employers in time. In 2017, this revised deadline led to almost twice as many late W-2 submissions to the SSA compared to in 2016. In addition, this year saw a 30 percent increase in corrections submitted on the W-2C form.
If you submit your W-2 forms late, you can be charged a penalty fee per late form. This fee increases the longer overdue your submission becomes. In addition, you can also be subject to penalties for submitting incorrect or incomplete W-2s.
Considering all of the penalties at stake, it’s important to ensure that your W-2s are submitted on time and correctly. An experienced tax attorney can provide valuable support in this process.