Two important changes will take place for employment reporting in 2017.
Beginning in 2017 the Internal Revenue Service has changed the reporting deadline for W-2 and W-3 forms. In the past January 31st was the deadline for submitting only employee copies of W-2 forms and February 28th was the deadline for submitting government copies of the forms. Beginning in 2017 ALL copies of W-2 and W-3 forms, which includes employee and government copies, whether filed by mail or electronically, must be submitted by January 31st. When the deadline falls on a weekend, the due date defaults to the next business day, either February 1st or February 2nd. Extension of time to file all W-2 forms with the Social Security Administration is no longer automatic.
For filings due on or after January 1, 2017, you may request one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 by submitting a complete application on Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, including a detailed explanation of why you need additional time and signed under penalties of perjury. The IRS will only grant the extension in extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe.
For 2017 the California Employment Development Department has announced that employers with 10 or more employees will be required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports and payroll tax deposits. The EDD claims that employers will realize the following benefits by converting to electronic reporting and payments:
- Increased data accuracy
- Data protection through encryption, which is safer and more secure than paper forms
- A reduction in paper and mailing costs
- The elimination of lost mail
- Faster processing of reports and payments
Employers can use e-Services for Business to comply with the e-file and e-pay mandate. Employers using the e-services link can perform the following actions:
- Register for an employer payroll tax account number
- File returns and reports
- Make payroll tax deposits and pay other liabilities
- View and update account information
This new requirement extends to ALL employees beginning in 2018. The mandate for electronic filing and payments includes a waiver provision for employers that are unable to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports and payroll tax deposits.