As most employers or individuals with responsibility for running payroll know, January 31 is the deadline for filing Form W-2s with Social Security as well as for distributing them to employees. What most may not consider is the importance or at least the advantage of filing those W-2 forms early.
Receipt of W-2s prior to the January 31 deadline allows time for employees to review and notify their employers of inaccurate information. At MarathonHR, we strive to distribute W-2s to our clients’ employees during the first week of January if at all possible. Subsequently, any problems identified by the employee and reported to the employer can be rectified by simply creating a corrected W-2 and returning it to the employee by the January 31 deadline.
Some businesses treat the January 31 deadline as their due date, and this increases the level of effort required to make corrections if needed. In addition to being the deadline to get forms to employees, January 31 is the deadline for employers to report Form W-2 information to Social Security. Any changes or corrections needed after January 31 require that employers not only provide employees with a correct W-2 but file a Form W-2C with Social Security noting the change in reported information.