So Far, a Smooth W-2 Filing Season


Payroll service providers and large employers adjusted to the curtailed Form W-2 filing season, despite an increase in late submissions overall, a Social Security Administration official said March 28.

The 2017 filing season was the first year with an accelerated wage reporting schedule. For 2017, employer W-2 copies were to be filed with the SSA by Jan. 31. The deadline was moved up from the Feb. 29, 2016, deadline for forms submitted on paper and March 31 deadline for forms submitted electronically, under the 2015 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

“Overall, it’s really been a very good year,” said Mark Ruley, a financial management analyst at the SSA.

The agency worked ahead of time with a group of large employers and payroll service providers that account for 60 to 70 percent of the W-2s filed to ensure they met the demands of the accelerated filing season, Ruley said at the American Payroll Association’s Capital Summit in Washington. Some members of that group filed corrections, but all filed on time, he said.

The SSA systems did not experience problems, Ruley said. During the busiest week of the filing season, the agency processed 94 million forms and forwarded them to the Internal Revenue Service, he said.

About 1 million paper forms were processed and sent to the IRS since the agency started processing those forms March 13, Ruley said. From 20 million to 22 million remain to be processed, he said. The estimate is based on the weight of the W-2s mailed to the agency. Those forms should be processed by late July or early August, he said.

The number of late submissions were up several thousand from this time last year, Ruley said. The difference most likely stemmed from the earlier deadline, he said. Although there were more forms submitted after the deadline, fewer employers filed late, Ruley said.

There has not been a significant increase is Forms W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, filed but it  still is early in the filing season, Ruley said.

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