In December 2015, The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. This act is an effort to combat a common scheme used by criminals where fraudulent tax returns are filed early in the filing season using false W-2 wage amounts and stolen social security numbers.
The act revises the filing deadline for Form W-2 and Form 1099-MISC if reporting nonemployee compensation in box 7. The due date for filing 2016 Forms W-2 and W-3 (including specialized versions of those forms) will now be the same as the due date for the forms to be issued to recipients, which is January 31, 2017. Both electronic and paper filings are the same.
Extension to File with Social Security Administration No Longer Automatic
The IRS also eliminates the automatic 30-day extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, except Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, to the Social Security Administration (SSA), beginning with the 2017 filing season. In order to get an extension, a Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be filed to request an extension with a detail explanation as to why an extension is needed, and it will be signed under penalty of perjury. The IRS will only grant an extension to file Form W-2 for one 30-day period. No additional extensions will be issued.
According to IRS, it is anticipated that non-automatic extension of time to file will be granted only in limited cases where the taxpayer’s explanation demonstrates that an extension is needed as a result of “extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe,” such as a natural disaster or fire destroying the books and records the taxpayer needs for filing the information returns. And, the extension to file with the SSA does not change the time for furnishing a Form W-2 to an employee.
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