As Total W-2s Processed Rises, So Do Corrected Forms

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By Jazlyn Williams and Michael Trimarchi

The number of Forms W-2 processed by the Social Security Administration in 2017 has already surpassed the total processed in 2016, said Scott Pedersen, SSA program manager.

About 253 million 2016 Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, were processed through Oct. 5, up from the 247 million 2015 forms processed by the end of 2016, Pedersen said Oct. 5 during the monthly Internal Revenue Service payroll industry teleconference.

The agency processed 2.8 million Forms W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, up from about 2.1 million in 2016, Pedersen said. Some of the increase likely could be attributed to the earlier due date employers had to meet for filing 2016 Forms W-2, he said.

In prior years, W-2s could be filed as late as the last day of February or, if filing electronically, the last day of March.

Other topics discussed during the teleconference included:

•The Filing Information Returns Electronically ( FIRE) production system is to be available for employers to file 2017 information returns starting Jan. 16, 2018, said Janet Mansour of the IRS electronic products and services support. Employers may find more information about the forms to be processed through the FIRE system in Publication 1220, she said.

•Final versions of all four 2017 employer forms for the Affordable Care Act were released by the IRS. The last to be released was Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns. Final versions of instructions for the B and C series of forms also were released.

Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage have already been released.

Changes to the 2017 forms were minimal, mostly to revise dates and website links.

•The IRS tax refund-prevention pilot program, which is to expand for the 2018 tax filing season, is to include a verification code on about 66 million Forms W-2, up from nearly 50 million forms in the 2017 filing season, said Scott Mezistrano, IRS representative for industry stakeholder engagement and outreach. The program is to have 10 to 12 service-provider participants for the 2018 filing season.

For the 2016 filing season, the program successfully validated 97 percent of electronically filed individual tax returns that used the code, Mezistrano said.

For the upcoming filing season, Forms W-2 have a dedicated Box 9 for the code; the 2016 W-2 had no dedicated box.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jazlyn Williams in Washington at jwilliams@bna.com and Michael Trimarchi in Washington at mtrimarchi@bna.com. To contact the editor on this story: Michael Baer at mbaer@bna.com.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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