Less Than One Week Left To File W-2s and 1099s

Less Than One Week Left To File W-2s and 1099s

There is a silver lining to the chaos that is tax reporting season this year: filers get an extra day to provide W-2 and 1099-MISC forms.

Businesses with employees or anyone who has contracted for more than $600 in work to a freelancer or subcontractor: you have until February 1, 2016, to provide the appropriate wage and income reporting form – a W-2 or 1099-MISC – to all recipients.

Due to the typical filing deadline (January 31) falling on a weekend, the 2016 deadline for businesses to mail these forms from the previous tax year is February 1. Sorting through the various IRS reporting requirements at the last minute can make a tight deadline even more stressful. Greatland Corporation, which offers small business reporting and tax products, is offering assistance and solutions to employers needing last minute help. 

This year, many businesses must also file 1095 forms for the 2015 tax year under new regulations as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Failure to comply with these new requirements could be very costly, given that the IRS announced an increase in penalties in 2015. In late December, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS issued deadline extensions for 2015 ACA reporting. The changes primarily relate to the filing of IRS Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and IRS Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.

Greatland offers the following tips and answers to the most frequently asked W-2 and 1099 filing questions:

How late can I file and still meet my deadlines? 

When waiting to file, businesses should – ideally – leave ample time to get filings out.  Make sure your provider clearly states when their deadline is for accepting filings to meet government deadlines.  For recipient W-2 and 1099 reporting, Yearli accepts filings until 8 p.m. ET on February 1 and guarantees deadline compliance.  For electronic filing with the federal government, businesses can file until 6 p.m. ET on March 31 and still have filings completed in time.

Do I need to file with my state also?  What are my requirements? 

The answer is: "it depends."  If your state requires workers to file an individual income tax return, you most likely need to file a 1099-MISC or W-2 form with the state and provide the worker with a copy to file with his or her return. Many states require that the 1099-MISC form be sent to the recipient, but the recipient does not need to attach the 1099-MISC form to his or her income tax return. The company's Yearli reporting system provides state W-2 and 1099-MISC filing for all states that require filing and helps guide filers through the process. In the event you are still unsure about which states require filing, a complete listing of each state's requirements and deadlines can be found here.

Do I need to file a 1096 or W-3 form? 

If you submit your forms electronically (e-file) with a provider like Yearli, you do not need to file a 1096 or W-3 summary form.  If you choose paper filing, you do need to supply this form to the federal agency. 

Can I electronically file 940 and 941 forms? 

Yes, the federal government does accept e-filings for both the 940 (annual) and 941 (quarterly) forms. Yearli has support for both forms to be filed. I hear a lot about fraud. 

How do I make sure my filing is secure? 

Many cases involving fraud stem from paper-based reporting.  Electronic-based filing is the most secure filing system available if you are using a reputable service. Make sure your provider maintains high levels of security through security audits and testing to ensure your data is never compromised. Being certified by third party security auditors (i.e. SOC II certification) guarantees your provider has implemented proper measures to keep your data secure. Read more on CPA Practice Advisor.