Article by Lisa Heather
Employers are required to file W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) for each of their employees. Employees whom have had income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from their pay. A W-3 form is required to be filed with the W-2 Forms. A W-3 Form is a transmittal summary. This form gives a total amount and number of the W-2 forms being filed. W-2/W-3 forms are filed with the Social Security Administration not the Internal Revenue Service. At this time the SSA requires any employer filing more than 250 W-2 Forms to file those forms electronically versus mailing paper forms. When generating W-2 forms it is your responsibility to make sure the name and number of each employee matches. SSA does have a social security number verification system.
SSA uses two forms of filing methods. As referred to earlier you can file electronically or by mailing paper forms.
SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) has two methods to electronically file W-2/W-3 forms. The first step to e-filing your forms is to register with BSO they will assign you a pin number and after verifying your information will mail a password.
Users can upload a wage report formatted to SSA regulations. This method is required when filing 250 or more W-2 Forms. Regulation standards are available on SSA’s employer reporting instructions and information website. The most convenient way to generate an electronic submission file is to use an SSA approved W2 e-filing software. A good program would allow you to e-file and print forms for your employees. BSO also allows you to file up to twenty W-2 forms directly from your computer and print copies for your employees. There are some requirements and fees involved. More information can be found at SSA’s employer reporting instructions and information website or Business Services Online.
Employers filing less than 250 W-2 Forms are allowed to e-file or they have the option to mail paper W-2 forms. SSA accepts red drop-out ink forms or laser printed forms. Both the laser printed and the red drop-out ink forms must comply with IRS regulations. Laser printed forms must be approved by SSA. The best solution when printing laser W-2/W-3 Forms is to use SSA approved form printing software. You can also use form printing software to print directly to a red drop-out ink form. Payroll software that creates W-2/W-3 Forms based on payroll information that has been generated for the year may also print and/or file the required forms. Employers can find helpful information online at the IRS and SSA websites.
Lisa Heather, small business owner, provides insightful tips into payroll software. You may also visit Payroll Blog for more payroll information. Payroll Mate is an affordable and easy to use Payroll Solution.
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