Payroll on Bloomberg Tax is built to get you to the right answer faster and more efficiently. Get all the payroll intelligence you need with Bloomberg Tax expert analysis, perspectives and...
The 2017 filing season opened with about 177 million employer-filed copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, sent to the Social Security Administration a month earlier than in 2016, an agency official said. Feb. 2.
Employers were to file the tax year 2016 W-2 with SSA by Jan. 31, about a month earlier than in previous years. About 162 million of the forms were sent to the Internal Revenue Service, said Tim McGarvey, the agency's information technology manager. The SSA, which has the capacity to process up to 25 million W-2s a day, sends complete information to the IRS, he said.
The SSA received 99 percent of the forms it expected, based on forms filed in 2016 for tax year 2015, McGarvey said. The agency received close to 1.4 million wage submissions from employers and payroll providers, he said.
Filing season for tax year 2016 forms started Dec. 9, 2016, and the SSA encouraged employers to file early to avoid a flood of forms in the last days of the filing season, McGarvey said. The effort was “successful to a point,” and the agency plans to continue to encourage early filing in the future, he said.
The SSA is concentrating on electronic data, but expects 10 percent of the forms it receives to be submitted on paper, McGarvey said. The agency expects to turn attention to forms submitted on paper by mid-February, he said.
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 (Pub. L. 114-113) signed Dec. 18, 2015, by President Barack Obama.
The goal of earlier W-2 reporting was to allow the IRS to verify income immediately and not require the agency to contact employers of taxpayers whose returns were caught by identity-theft filters.
Additionally, about 48 million 2016 W-2s included placement of a verification code in Box 9 on copies B and C as part of a pilot program to fight tax fraud and identity theft. The program included the code on 1.7 million W-2s for tax year 2015. The verification code box again is included on the 2017 W-2, which was released Jan. 30 by the IRS. Efforts to continue expanding the verification programs are under consideration at the agency.
The decision to move the filing date earlier appears to have had a beneficial effect. In 2016, 135 million forms were processed by the SSA by March 3, three days after the deadline for printed W-2s but before the March 31 deadline for electronic versions of the form, said Ed Kernan, a senior SSA analyst. That number represented about half the forms expected to be filed by the close of filing season March 31, he said.
So far this filing season, rejections were in line with W-2 forms filed last year, McGarvey said.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)