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

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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.

How to Download and Print W-2 Forms

Optional:  Before you download and print your W-2s, you can run the Employee W-2 Summary Report to view the amounts for each employee to confirm everything is correct.

You’ll first need to create the W-2 form by going to Reports > Payroll Tax Reports > 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:
    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 W2s to create.
  • Once your W-2s are created, click the “Download W-2s” button.  
    • To only select a few employees to download check the boxes next to the employee name next in the Employee W-2 Activity Report.
    • A PDF file will download to your computer. To print the W-2s, load either your blank printer paper or perforated blank forms in your printer, depending on your PDF layout selection.
  • 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 download and posting date of the employee W-2 and displays which employees consented to receive a digital copy of their W-2.

Click the “filter” link to view the employees who require a printed W-2 form. We’ll also highlight the employees needing a printed W-2 with an attention icon.

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

The W-2 Creation Date will show the first time the W-2 was created. This date will change only if the W-2 a new W-2 is created with new values.  The “creation date” will display the original creation date even if the W-2 is downloaded multiple times if the values have not changed.

employee w2 report

If you have changed the information on one or more employee W-2s or need to reprint, click the “Update W-2s” button.  An updated set of W-2s will download.

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

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

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