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How to Download and Print W-2 Forms in Patriot Software


A W-2 Form is a report of all employee income and tax withheld for a calendar year.  This is needed in order for the employee to file their income taxes.  The IRS requires that employers mail the W-2 to each employee by January 31st of the following year.

Before you get started with W-2s, we recommend using the Preview W-2 Forms feature. This report will print a preview copy which will be watermarked “preview.” To learn more check out our help article, “Preview W-2 Forms.”

How to Download and Print W-2 Forms

Before you download and print your W-2s, we recommend you preview your W-2 forms first. See Preview W-2 Forms to view the amounts for each employee to confirm everything is correct.

After you have previewed your W-2 forms to confirm everything looks good, you can create the W-2 forms by going to Reports > Payroll Year-End Forms > W-2 Forms. 

  • Select the year. 
  • Select W-2 PDF Layout options.
    You’ll be able to choose how you want your W-2 to be printed the first time you come to this page. To change these settings at a later date go to Settings > Payroll Settings > W-2 Print Settings.
    1. One copy per page for blank paper
    2. Four copies per page for blank perforated forms
    For details explaining the difference between these two print options, see
    W-2 Print Options in Patriot Software.
  • Check the “Post W-2s to Employee Portal” if you want to post to the employee portal for employees who have given consent at the same time you create the W-2 forms.  You can also post the W-2s to the employee portal later after you review. All employees with an email address on file will receive an automatic notification that their W-2 is available in their employee portal.
    Note: You must provide paper copies to employees who have not given consent to receive a digital copy of their W-2. For more details, see Employee Consent for Electronic W-2s.
  • Click the “Create W-2s”  button.
    If you have a large number of employees, the software will notify you that you may leave the page and will be notified when the W-2s are ready via email. This shouldn’t be more than a few minutes, and only if you have a large number of employee W-2s to create.
  • Once your W-2s are created, a PDF will download to your device. To print the W-2s, load either your blank printer paper or perforated blank forms in your printer, depending on your PDF layout selection.
  • If you have made changes after you have created the W-2s, you can click “Create New W-2s” to create a new set. This will replace your former version. If you have employees who use their portal to view their W-2, you will need to post the most recent version of the W-2s to your employee portal.
  • Patriot does not mail W-2s to employees. You will have to print and give employee W-2s if they haven’t consented to receive electronic copies of their W-2. For more information about electronic W-2s, see “Posting Electronic W-2s in Patriot’s Employee Portal.”

Does Patriot File Employee W-2s for me?

If you are a Full Service Payroll customer and you have completed your tax filing setup, Patriot will electronically file your W-2s to the SSA and any states requiring year-end W-2 reconciliation filings on your behalf. You can find the filing confirmation number by going to Reports > Payroll Tax Reports > Tax Filings.  If you are a Basic Payroll customer, you will need to file your W-2s yourself.  If you are a Basic customer, see the help article Filing Your W-3.

Employee W-2 Activity Report

The Employee W-2 Activity report tracks the most recent posting date of the employee W-2 and displays which employees consented to receive a digital copy of their W-2. We’ll also highlight the employees needing a printed W-2 with an attention icon.

Click the “Download W-2s” link for all employees or select the employees you want to print paper W-2 forms for and click “Download Selected W-2s.” 

See Posting Electronic W-2s in the Employee Portal.

[RELATED ARTICLE: Avoid These Common Errors on the W-2 Form]

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