Earlier Due Date for W-2’s and W-3’s

Employers have a new, earlier due date of January 31, 2017, for filing 2016 information returns, W-2 and W-3 with the Social Security Administration. This date applies to you whether you file using paper forms or electronically. Forms 1099-MISC are due to the IRS by January 31 as well.

Employers must also furnish copies of these forms to their employees by January 31. The State of Wisconsin has had the January 31 deadline in place for years and will continue with that as well.

It is more important than ever to be sure your information is updated and accurate. In the past, if there needed to be a change to the W-2, it could be easily fixed prior to uploading to the Social Security Administration. Now, with the earlier due date, those changes will have to be fixed by completing and filing a W-2C and W-3C – which can get costly and time consuming.

We highly recommend you have a conversation with your employees and your boss and make sure all information that will be on the W-2 is accurate.   Many people don’t look at their W-2 until they are at their tax appointment – this year may be a good year to look early!

2017 Tax Refund Delays

Tax Refund Delays for 2017

A reminder to all taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), a new law is in effect that requires the IRS to hold those refunds until mid-February 2017.  The IRS will hold the entire refund, including the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC, until at least February 15, 2017.  This change is an attempt by the IRS to ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the agency more time to detect fraud.

All taxpayers should file their returns as usual.  Even though the IRS cannot issue some refunds until at least February 15, most refunds will be issued within the normal time frame of less than 21 days after being accepted for processing by the IRS.

USCIS Form I-9 Revised November 14, 2016

The USCIS has revised the form I-9 effective November 14, 2016.  This new form will be in effect until August 31, 2019.  Employers may use the Form I-9 with a revision date of March 8, 2013 through January 21, 2017.  By January 22, employers must use the revised form, which incidentally has been uploaded to our webpage under Employee Services.

Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.

Other changes include:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.

The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

Employers must retain original I-9 forms for three years after the ate of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.  The forms should be stored separately from other personnel files in its own filed labeled Employee I-9.