Important documents go missing or get damaged all the time. An employee’s Form W-2 is one document that might be subject to those fates. An employee might send the form through the wash, toss it out with the junk mail, or simply lose it out of their back pocket. No matter what happens to the form, you can reissue Form W-2 to your employee.
How to perform a Form W-2 reissue
You can give Form W-2 to employees in a paper or electronic format. How you do a Form W-2 reissue depends on how you distribute the new form.
Reprinting W-2 form
If you make a Form W-2 reprint, write “REISSUED STATEMENT” on the new copy. Then, give the copy to the employee.
You would typically send Copy A of Form W-2 to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Do not send Copy A of the reissued form to the SSA. The SSA already has a copy from the first time you issued the Form W-2.
If you electronically reissue Form W-2, you do not have to add “REISSUED STATEMENT” to the form. Once again, do not send Copy A to the SSA.
Incorrect employee address
Let’s say you have an incorrect address for an employee on file. Because of that, you send Form W-2 with the wrong employee address to the SSA and the employee.
If this happens, do not file Form W-2c (the form used to make Form W-2 corrections). Instead, you have three options:
- Make a new Form W-2 that has the correct address. Put “REISSUED STATEMENT” on the form. Give the new Form W-2 to the employee, but do not send Copy A to the SSA.
- Create a Form W-2c that shows the correct address in box i (the employee address and ZIP code box), along with all other correct information. Give Form W-2c to the employee, but do not file Copy A with the SSA.
- Reissue the Form W-2 with the incorrect address to the employee. Put the form in an envelope that has the correct address.
Deadline for reissued W-2 form
The deadline for submitting Form W-2 to employees and the SSA is January 31. However, this W-2 filing deadline only applies to the original issuance of the form.
There is not a specific timeline for reissuing Form W-2. You are not required to reissue W-2 forms on demand, by a specific time after request, or by a particular date.
You should consider employees’ tax filing deadlines. It is beneficial to employees if you send out reissued Forms W-2 before the employees’ tax filing deadline.
You can charge employees for reissued Forms W-2. The fee can help pay for the supplies and time required to create and distribute a duplicate form.
Tax forms are common targets for con artists. Form W-2 contains many pieces of employee information, including the employee’s Social Security number. You need to stop employee information from ending up in the wrong hands.
First, make sure it is actually the employee who is asking for a Form W-2 reissue. You might want to refuse phone requests because it is difficult to verify a person’s identity over the phone. If you receive a request by email, look for signs of phishing scams. It might be wise to have the employee fill out and sign a request form.
Use a secure method to distribute the reissued form. You might use a secure email system or the U.S. Postal Service.
Patriot Software’s Full Service Payroll software will file Form W-2 with the SSA on your behalf. You just need to give Form W-2 to employees, and you can reprint the form as many times as you need to. You can try the software for free, so sign up today!
This article is updated from its original publication date of 2/8/2011.
This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.