It is your responsibility as an employer to file Forms W-2 with the Social Security
Administration for your employees, showing the wages paid and taxes withheld for the year.
Since the Form W-2 is the only document used to transmit information on your employees'
social security and Medicare wages for the year, it is very important to prepare the forms
correctly and timely.
There are separate instructions for the Form W-2. Be sure to order them when you order
your W-2 Forms. If you have questions on any particular box on the form, check the
instructions, which give a detailed explanation of each box. Here are a few important
items to keep in mind when preparing Form W-2.
1.Type all entries. Use black ink.
2.Do not use dollar signs or commas, but do use decimal points followed by cents or
zeroes for no cents.
3.Please do not make any erasures, cross-outs, or white-outs. Copy A, which is the
first page, must be error free. If you make an error on a form, put an "X" in
the "Void" box, and go to the next Form W-2 and start again. Do not mark the
next W-2 as corrected.
4.The W-2 is printed with two forms on a page. Send in the whole Copy A page (the page
printed with red ink) even if one form is blank or void. Do not cut the page.
5.Show subtotals on every 42nd form for the preceding 41 forms. Do not count amounts
from voided forms in your subtotals. If your total number of Forms W-2 is less than 42, it
is not necessary to do a subtotal form.
The Form W-2 comes with 6 copies. Copy A must be sent to the Social Security
Administration with the transmittal Form W-3 by February 28, 1997. The Form W-3 is used to
transmit the W-2's and contains figures reflecting the total of all the W-2's being sent.
The address for mailing Copy A of the W-2's and the W-3 form is listed in the W-2
Keep the last copy of the Form W-2, Copy D, for your own records. You must give the
remaining copies to the employee by January 31. If an employee stops working for you
before the end of the year, you may give your former employee the copies anytime prior to
January 31. If the employee asks for the Form W-2, you must give the copies to the
employee within 30 days of the request or final wage payment, whichever is later.
The totals for the amounts reported on the related Forms W-2, 941, 943, or Schedule H
(Form 1040) for the year should equal those same totals reported on your Form W-3. If the
totals do not agree, you should make any necessary corrections. If you discover an error
on an employee's W-2 after sending it to the Social Security Administration, you should
submit a Form W-2c, Statement of Corrected Income and Tax Amounts. You must also submit a
transmittal Form W-3c with the Form W-2c, unless you are changing only the employee's name
or social security number.
All employers may file Form W-2 on magnetic media. However, employers filing 250 or
more Forms W-2 must report on magnetic media unless granted a waiver by the IRS.
For more information on magnetic media refer to Topic 800. Using Using a personal
computer and a modem, you may obtain additional information on magnetic media filing of
Form W-2 by dialing Social Security's electronic bulletin board at (410) 965-1133. This is
not a toll-free number, or by visiting the SSA web page at http://www.ssa.gov.
Forms W-2, W-3, and instructions can be ordered by calling 1-800-829-3676. You may also
want to refer to Publication 15, Employer's Tax Guide, Publication 15-A, Employer's
Supplemental Tax Guide, and Publication 393, Federal Employment Tax Forms.
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