Payroll tax filing dates for W-2s and 1099 forms were changed for 2016, and these changes continue for reporting 2017 taxes. The filing deadline for 2017 W-2s and 1099 forms (including Form 1099-MISC) is January 31, 2018.
For similar reasons, the law also requires the IRS to hold refunds involving two key tax credits until at least February 15. Here are details on each of these key dates.
January 31 Deadline for Employers
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted in December 2016, requires employers to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31 each year.
The January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-Misc reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors. If you're filing Form 1099-Misc and reporting amounts in Box 7: Non-employee Compensation, then you will need to meet the new filing deadline of January 31. If you don't have amounts in Box 7, then the deadline remains February 28 for paper filings or March 31 for electronic filings.
In an effort to reduce tax fraud, 21 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are now using the January 31 deadline for Forms W-2 and 1099 for state income taxes. To avoid penalties for late filing, please check the filing date and other requirements for your state or contact us for more information.
The accelerated deadline is intended to help the IRS and state tax authorities improve their efforts to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers. Having these W-2s and 1099s earlier should make it easier for the them to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. In many instances, this may enable the IRS to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past. The January 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees and that date remains unchanged.
Some Refunds Delayed Until at Least February 15
Due to the PATH Act change of 2016, some people will get their refunds a little later. The law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.
Even with this change, taxpayers should file their returns as they normally do. Whether you’re claiming the EITC or ACTC, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations. Though the IRS issues 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days, some returns are held for further review.
If you have questions about any of these changes or would like help determining when you need to file, please CONTACT US right away. We’re here to help!