As a business, you must file a W-2 form to the IRS and hand it out to your employees at the close of each year. This vital tax document outlines an employee’s yearly earnings and the tax amount withheld from their wages. For many businesses, tax season can be complicated and time-consuming.
There are ways to streamline the Form W-2 filing process and to increase accuracy in your filings, which helps to reduce potential fines and penalties. Here’s a list of handy tips to consider:
Maintain Employee Records
An incredibly important and often overlooked step is to keep accurate and updated employee records.
Employee information such as name, social security number, and address should be reviewed for accuracy upon hire. Regularly review and update this data to avoid any errors that could result in wrongly filed forms.
Consider Payroll Software
A lot of businesses find payroll software or a payroll service provider to be a lifesaver. These tools automate the wage and withholding calculations and can whip up a W-2 form for each employee. When picking a software or service, ensure it’s IRS-compliant, easy to use, and offers solid customer support.
Don’t Forget the Deadlines
Mark your calendar with the IRS deadlines for submitting W-2 forms. According to the 2023 IRS Form W-2 instructions, businesses need to send W-2 forms to their employees by January 31 of the next year, and the same deadline applies for filing with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Late filing penalties can stack up, so it’s crucial to know and stick to these deadlines.
Go Digital with Filing
The SSA recommends businesses to file W-2 forms electronically, especially if they’re dealing with a large workforce. E-filing has several perks, like quicker processing times, instant receipt confirmation, and a lower chance of lost or misrouted forms.
Stay on Top of Tax Regulations
Tax laws and rules can change often, and it’s your responsibility to stay in the loop. Regularly check IRS publications, or think about getting advice from a tax professional to ensure you’re calculating and withholding taxes correctly.
Run Internal Audits
Doing internal audits from time to time can help you spot any inconsistencies or mistakes in your payroll process. These audits can flag issues like incorrect tax withholdings, wage report discrepancies, and missing data. Tackling these issues head-on can save you from potential fines and headaches down the line.
Train Your Team
The staff members who handle W-2 forms and other tax documents should be well-trained and kept in the loop about any changes in tax laws or IRS requirements. This includes not just payroll staff but also other employees involved in the process, like human resources.
Get Professional Assistance
It’s never a bad idea to get help from a professional. If you own a company and have a lot of employees or you have a complicated tax situation, you may want to consider getting help from an expert.
A professional can help you to file accurately and on time and they can answer questions about your unique tax situation.
While the Form W-2 filing process can be confusing, it is a vital part of owning a business. These tips will help you to make your year end filing process smooth, easy, and accurate.