The IRS issued a reminder in IR-2017-189 to employers and other businesses of the Jan. 31 filing deadline that now applies to filing wage statements and independent contractor forms with the government. This deadline was the same last year.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 includes a requirement for employers to file their copies of Form W-2 and W-3 with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31. This deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC filed with the IRS to report non-employee compensation to independent contractors. Such payments are reported in box 7 of this form. There are other cases that require Forms 1099-MISC to be filed so taxpayers should consult the instructions to ensure that they complete all required filings. Failure to timely file these forms can lead to penalties assessed by the IRS.
An extension of time to file W-2s is no longer automatic and is only granted for specific reasons. These reasons are listed on Form 8809 and include the following: affected business in a Presidentially Declared Disaster Area; other catastrophic event affected the business; unavoidable absence of responsible individual; and new business in its first year. Based on these descriptions, it appears that businesses in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey would be eligible for an extension of this deadline for W-2s.