When an employee loses that W-2…

When an employee loses that W-2:  What are the employer’s obligations?

It is inevitable, someone is going to lose their W-2 this year.  As the employer, what and how do you respond to the request for a “new W-2”?

First of all, the experts all recommend that you respond to requests for duplicate W-2’s ONLY if they are made in writing.

When you issue a duplicate W-2, the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. Type in the upper right-hand corner on each copy of the W-2, “REISSUED STATEMENT”.
  2. You MAY send as a replacement, a copy of the employer’s copy.
  3. If you mail a duplicate W-2 to a former employee, copy the envelope in a way that shows the address you used for that terminated employee.  Write on the copy the date you mailed the duplicate.
  4. If a W-2 is returned undeliverable, keep it in the original envelope.
    1. If the employee contacts you, make a copy of the W-2 showing the post mark, and put it into a second envelope and mail it to the new address the employee gives you.
    2. If the employee does not contact you, keep it for at least 4 years as proof that the W-2 was mailed by the federal deadline.

To protect your company, your client and yourself, we suggest you make a Request for W-2 Form, a sample of which can be found on our website, www.wisconsinpay.com, Click on Employee Services, then click on Request for W-2 Form.

In Wisconsin, you can post the W-2’s online with the employee’s paystubs; however, you must have written permission from each employee prior to doing so.  Most of our employees have gone to paperless payrolls, but no one has gone to paperless W-2’s yet.

As a side note, if you do have your employees’ paystubs posted on line with us (ESS), your employees’ W-2’s will also be posted online.