New January 31 Deadline for Employers filing Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC
In an attempt to prevent income tax refund fraud, the IRS has the assistance of a new federal law (the PATH Act) which accelerates the W-2 filing deadline by requiring employers to provide copies to the government by January 31st. The January 31st deadline for employers to provide copies of these forms to their employees remains unchanged. The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.
Previously, employers typically had to submit their copies of these forms by the end of February, for paper filing, or the end of March, for electronic filing. Additionally, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available and this extension is not automatic. Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns should be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but must be filed by January 31.