Forms W-2, 1099, W-3, and 1096
By: Charles L. Telk Jr., CPA, Senior Tax Advisor | email
As you probably know, W-2’s and 1099’s are due to the recipient by January 31. The respective W-3’s and 1096’s are not due to the Government until February 28 (or 29th). Some people think they are getting ahead of the game by mailing forms to the Government and at the same time providing the appropriate forms to their employee/independent contractor. The reality is, by doing so, they are potentially creating a difficult situation for themselves.
The reason there is a one-month difference in due dates is that it provides the employee/independent contractor the chance to review the W-2 or 1099 prior to them being filed with the Government. That way, any change is simple to make. However, if the form has been submitted early to the Government, you will have to file amended documents which are time consuming and complicated.
Bottom line– file annual payroll tax documents when they are due on February 29th.