Background: Posting Electronic W-2s
According to IRS Publication 1141, the IRS allows employers to provide employees with an electronic copy of their Form W-2, as long as the employee has a way to receive the W-2 electronically, and has consented to receiving an electronic W-2 instead of a paper copy. Providing the W-2 electronically to your employees eliminates the need to print and distribute paper copies, and the employee can access as soon as you make available.
How to Post Electronic W-2s in Patriot’s Employee Portal
Posting electronic W-2s in the employee portal software is optional. You can still choose to print and distribute paper W-2s to your employees, especially terminated employees who may not have employee portal access.
Before You Post W-2s to the Employee Portal
Before posting electronic W-2s to your employees’ self-service portal, be sure you have completed the following steps:
- Send employee portal registration email invitations. If any of your employees do not already have their employee portal login set up, you can send an invitation from the “Employee Portal” tab on their record. You may also send invites terminated employees, if you wish. For details on how to send invitations for employees to register for portal access, see Employee Portal Registration Access.
- Notify your employees about the electronic W-2 option, and ask them to log in to their portal to give their consent to receiving their W-2 electronically. For details, see Employee Consent for Electronic W-2s.
- Add employee email addresses. It is required that in order for an employee to register and use the employee portal, the employee’s email address must be added to their Personal Info record. When an employee has a valid email address, Patriot will automatically send a confirmation email to both you and your employee when they have consented or revoked their consent to receiving an electronic W-2. Employees will also receive a notification when you post the W-2 to their employee portal.
- Download and review the W-2s for all employees by going to Payroll > Reports > Payroll Tax Reports > W-2 Forms. For more details, see How to Download and Print W-2 Forms in Patriot Software.
- Make W-2 updates as needed. If you need to make changes to any information on the W-2 and you haven’t yet posted to the employee portal, you can either run additional payrolls, void payrolls, or contact Customer Support to make payroll edits. After the changes have been made, repeat the download process. The most recent download will replace any older downloaded versions.
Posting Electronic W-2s to the Employee Portal
- Go to Reports > Payroll Tax Reports > W-2 Forms
- In the middle section of the page, click “Post W-2s to Employee Portal.”
- A confirmation message will appear, asking if you are sure you want to post. Click Yes.
- At this point, the W-2s are now available for all of your employees to log in to their employee portal and view. The electronic W-2s will be available to each employee for their convenience, even if they have not consented to receiving their W-2 electronically. For those employees who have not consented, you will still need to provide them a paper copy in addition to this electronic copy. They will be sent the following automated email to their email address on file. You can also notify employees yourself.
Making W-2 Corrections after Posting to the Employee Portal
You can still make corrections to a W-2 after you have already posted to the employee portal.
- Make the needed corrections to payroll
- Download the W-2s again and review to make sure they are correct
- Click “Post to Employee Portal” again.
- The employee will receive another email notification to let them know an updated W-2 is available. Per IRS regulations, it is not necessary to write “CORRECTED” on an electronic W-2, only paper W-2s.
For more details, see How Do I Correct a W-2 in Patriot Software?