Monday, October 17, 2016

All About Form W-9

Before we get into the information return filing season - 1099-MISC and W-2 forms are due in just over three months! - there might be some information you need, for which you’re not quite sure how to ask. We’re talking social security numbers and other identifying information you need to fill out the IRS information returns that show what you paid and to whom throughout the year.

Now your employees might not be so difficult; they should expect you’ll need that information to fill out their W-2s. In fact, you may have even already had them complete a Form W-9 upon hire. Oh, right, that’s the form we’re talking about today, by the way: Form W-9.

Form W-9?
That’s right, and it’s nothing like its cousin, Form W-2. Form W-9, the Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, is your legal, secure way to obtain the sensitive information you need to complete information returns, like your 1099s and W-2 forms. The main thing you’re looking for when you have someone fill out a W-9 is their taxpayer identification number (TIN), usually an SSN, EIN, or ITIN.

Now, normally, depending on who you’re getting to fill out the W-9 would determine how you asked them to fill it out. Your employees may have completed it as part of their new-hire paperwork or, if you provide investment opportunities, you may have included it in their investment account opening paperwork. The keyword here, obviously, is “paperwork,” which is why ExpressIRSForms has taken a special interest to include it as an e-sign-able option in our IRS forms line-up.

Right again! Just because you can now handle this form electronically doesn’t mean it needs to be sent to the IRS, hence (jazz hands!) e-signing. Since we knew many filers of the forms we offer (W-2s, 1099s, ACA Forms) would need the information from W-9 but might not have already had their payees/recipients complete it, we decided to include it as a secure option you can complete right from your ExpressIRSForms account.

So How Does That Work?
When you log into your ExpressIRSForms account, you should see a button that says “Request W-9.” Click this button to get started. You’ll enter your payer information (that’s you) along with the name(s) and email address(es) of those whose TINs you need. Within 5-10 minutes of you completing this step, your requests will be securely emailed to your recipients.

Once they get your request with a little explanation as to why they’re filling out Form W-9, your recipient(s) can either complete the form and send it back securely or reject your request. Either way, we’ll keep you updated on the status of all your pending and completed W-9 forms.

When a Form W-9 is completed, the status of that form will update in your ExpressIRSForms account. Then, you can view, download, or print the W-9 to use and keep for your records. Your ExpressIRSForms address book will even update with the new information you receive from your W-9s, making completing your information returns that much easier!

Get Those Digits!
So what are you waiting for? We already told you how close the new filing deadlines are! Get on over to ExpressIRSForms and get those TINs so you can complete your filing easily and ahead of schedule. And if you have any other questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give our all-star support team a call! We’re available by phone (704-839-2270) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, and by email ( 24/7!

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Form 1099-MISC Has a New IRS Deadline

Well, guys, we had to break it to you about the new W-2 Form deadline, now we’ve got some more slightly stressing news: your Form 1099-MISC deadline has probably been backed up to January 31, too.

The New Filing Date
Usually, when we talk deadlines, we’re a little more exact than “probably,” but the new 1099-MISC filing date has a condition: if you’re reporting nonemployee compensation payments in box 7 on Form 1099-MISC, your 2016 1099-MISC Forms must be submitted to the IRS by January 31, 2017.

If you do not have to report nonemployee compensation payments in box 7, you get to stick with the old deadlines, which if you’ll remember, are:
  • February 28, 2017, if you’re paper filing
  • March 31, 2017, if you’re e-filing.

Use ExpressIRSForms to File On Time
Of course, if you’re using ExpressIRSForms, this little deadline change should be anything but stressful, because we have everything you need to make sure your return is done on time. We’re cloud-based, so you can access your account through any browser and we have a built-in Address Book that automatically saves your payer and payee information as you enter it. We’ll even mail your recipient copies of Form 1099-MISC out from our headquarters in South Carolina once we’ve securely e-filed your IRS return.

Check out for more info or give us a ring! We’re available by phone (704-684-4751) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST and we also offer 24/7 email assistance through

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

E-filing Forms W-2 and W-3

We’ve covered quite a bit on Form W-2 over the past month or so: everything from the new deadline to new extension form regulations and even a bit about those pesky penalties.

So now it only makes sense to go over how to e-file Form W-2 and what the deal is with its companion form, the W-3.

E-filing Form W-2
First things first: if you have more than 250 W-2 Forms to file, you’re required by the IRS to e-file. Even if you’re not quite there and only have a few W-2 Forms to submit, we (and the IRS) strongly recommend e-filing anyway. It’s easier, faster, and more secure - if you sign on with an IRS-authorized e-file provider like ExpressIRSForms, that is.

With ExpressIRSForms, you can have your W-2 Forms e-filed with the IRS and mailed out to your employees in just a few steps:
  1. Create an account.
  2. Select that you’d like to create W-2 Forms from your Dashboard.
  3. Fill in your basic employer information (name, EIN, address).
  4. Fill in your employees’ details, including their basic info as well as their federal and state income and tax withheld.
  5. Review your forms and select whether you’d like us to mail your employee copies of Form W-2 for you.
  6. Pay the one-time transmittal fee and securely send your return off to the IRS!
It’s that easy. And with built-in error checks, you’re sure to have everything filed correctly the first time around!

And Form W-3
One of the biggest bonuses of filing online is that Form W-3 isn’t required to be completed and sent with your return when you e-file. It’s the transmittal form for Form W-2 which means it summarizes the contents of the W-2 return it accompanies. Because W-2 e-filing is more streamlined than paper filing, Form W-3 isn’t needed online.

If you do insist on paper filing, you will need to complete one Form W-3 to be sent with your W-2 Forms. You’ll need the following information to complete it:
  • Payer or Employer type
  • Total number of W-2 Forms
  • Employer name, EIN, address, and state ID number
  • Total income and taxes withheld reported in your W-2 Forms
And your W-2 return, along with Form W-3, should be sent to the following address by January 31, 2017:
Social Security Administration
Data Operations Center
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001

If sending your return by Certified Mail, change the ZIP code to 18769-0002. And if you use an IRS-approved private delivery service, include in the address “ATTN: W-2 Process, 1150 E. Mountain Dr.” and change the ZIP code to 18702-7997.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Penalties Increase When You File W-2 Forms Late

You know how sometimes you’re late and that’s the worst that could happen? Like in a college course with a lenient professor or when you’re the boss and are a few minutes late to a meeting. Unfortunately - and not surprisingly - “being late” isn’t considered a punishment in and of itself with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Instead, if you file your W-2 forms late, they’ll have you count up even more money this year to send them to give you a chance to think about what you’ve done. In previous years, the absolute most the IRS could fine you for late filing was a measly $3 million ($1 million if you’re a small business). Now, that number can get upwards of $3,193,000, or $1,064,000.

Keep in mind that you could be subject to this penalty if you:
  • Fail to file your W-2s on time,
  • Fail to include all the required W-2 information in your return,
  • Include incorrect information in your W-2 return,
  • File on paper when you’re required to e-file,
  • Report an incorrect TIN (so like an SSN or EIN),
  • Fail to report a TIN at all, or
  • Fail to file paper W-2 Forms that are machine readable.
There is a small silver lining: if you have reasonable cause for why you were late or incorrect in your filing, the IRS will work with you to get your W-2s filed correctly rather than penalize you. So best start preparing a better excuse than “the dog ate my information returns” because these are the fees you’re looking at for late or incorrect W-2 filing:
  • $50 per W-2 Form if you file correctly within 30 days of your due date
    • Maximum penalty: $532,000
    • Maximum penalty for small businesses: $186,000
  • $100 per W-2 Form if you file correctly more than 30 days after your due date but before August 1
    • Maximum penalty: $1,596,500
    • Maximum penalty for small businesses: $532,000
  • $260 per W-2 Form if you file after August 1 or don’t file your returns or corrections at all
    • Maximum penalty: $3,193,000
    • Maximum penalty for small businesses: $1,064,000

Now you see why it’s such a big deal to have your W-2 Forms filed on time, especially since that the deadline to complete and submit your W-2 return with the SSA has changed. So it’s a good thing you’ve found your way to ExpressIRSForms! Our program makes e-filing your W-2 Forms as fast and simple as possible. Sign up today to get started and set up your account in preparation for the upcoming tax season!

And if you have any questions about the upcoming tax season or e-filing your W-2 Forms, just give us a call! We’re available by phone (704-684-4751) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. And we also offer 24/7 assistance by email at!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SSA Form W-2 Extensions are No Longer Automatic

More news on the Form W-2 front!

Last week we learned that the deadline to have Form W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been moved up to January 31. So be sure to keep that in mind as you prepare for the upcoming filing season!

Another new thing to keep in mind is that extensions of time to file Form W-2 with the SSA are no longer automatic.

You can still apply for a 30-day extension of time to file your W-2 Forms with the SSA by submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, by January 31. Keep in mind though that you’ll need to provide a reason for your request and the SSA will only allow extensions “in extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe.”

Remember: if you’re granted an extension with Form 8809, it only applies to your W-2 Forms that are sent to the SSA. The copies of Form W-2 that are sent to your employees will still need to be sent by January 31.

Form 8809 must be submitted in paper form this year, so you'll want to make sure you send it off as soon as you know you'll need an extension. Form 8809 should be mailed to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: Extension of Time Coordinator, 240 Murall Drive, Mail Stop 4360, Kearnesyville, WV 25430.

Luckily, you can still e-file your W-2 Forms with ExpressIRSForms! Not yet, that is; you’ll need to wait until January 1, 2017, to apply for an extension or submit your 2016 return. But you can create your free account today and play around with the program to prepare for the upcoming filing season - it’ll be here before we know it!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about e-filing Form 8809, Form W-2, Form 1099, or ACA forms, give us a call! We’re here Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, and available by phone (704-684-4751) and live chat. We also offer 24/7 email assistance at!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The SSA Deadline to File W-2 Forms Has Changed

Heads up, business filers!

You know how when you fill out your W-2 Forms for your employees every year you have to send a copy to them by January 31 and e-file a copy with the Social Security Administration - or SSA - by March 31 (February 28/29 if paper filing)?

Well the SSA is changing all of that this year. As if the IRS’s Affordable Care Act deadlines moving back up wasn’t enough of a tax season stressor, the SSA is now requiring all filers (paper and electronic alike) to submit their W-2s to the SSA by January 31, the same day they’re due for your employees.

Naturally, if January 31 happens to fall on a weekend or a national holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day. Unfortunately, in 2017 - the first year this new deadline will take effect - January 31 falls on a plain, old Tuesday, so make sure you’re completely prepared to have your W-2 Forms filed on time. If you’re late, you stand to incur some pretty hefty fines.

ExpressIRSForms can help guarantee your W-2 Forms are in the hands (or on the computers) of those who need them by the time they’re required to have them. With features like an online address book as well as cloud-based programming and bulk uploading capabilities, it’s never been easier to complete and e-file your W-2s.

And before you e-file, click to engage our Postal Mailing feature; we’ll get an alert here at our offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina and mail out the employee copies of your W-2 Forms by the next business day!

While it’s still too early to e-file, you can create an account with ExpressIRSForms today. And if you have any questions about getting started or the e-filing process, we’re here to help! Just give us a call at (704) 684-4751 or send us a live chat during our office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. You can also send us an email anytime to

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Getting to Know Form W-2

Buckle up, ExpressIRSForms readers, because this month we’re switching gears from ACA and general-tax-talk to really get to know one of our most popular forms: Form W-2!

Now, before we get to the real nitty gritty with Form W-2, let’s first learn a bit more about it. Form W-2 is an IRS information return, also known as a Wage and Tax Statement, that’s used to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from them throughout the year.

Who Needs to File Form W-2?
Form W-2 is filed each year by every employer who paid employees for their services performed, including noncash payments of $600 or more, that year. A W-2 form must be filed for each employee by the employer for whom:
  • Income, Social Security, or Medicare tax was withheld.
  • Income tax would have been withheld if the employee claimed one or fewer withholding allowances on Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.

Where is Form W-2 Filed?
At ExpressIRSForms, of course! We’ve got one of the fastest, easiest, IRS-authorized e-filing programs for W-2s on the market! And while the IRS and SSA encourage employers to e-file - and require employers to if they have more than 250 forms - you may not be the e-filing type. We understand that, and we’re still here to help. Paper filers should file Copy A of Form W-2 with Form W-3 with the following address:
Social Security Administration
Data Operations Center
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001
But, as we said, it’s much easier to e-file with ExpressIRSForms than it is to paper file. And since it’s free to create an account, why not give it a go? With ExpressIRSForms, you don’t pay until you’re ready to file, so we invite you to try out all of the built-in features that make W-2 filing even better than you could’ve imagined!

Have Any Questions?
Here at ExpressIRSForms, we’re committed to helping you through every step of the e-filing process. If you have any questions about getting started or e-filing your W-2 returns, don’t hesitate to contact our all-star customer support team. We’re available by phone (704-684-4751) and live chat (through our site) Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, and we offer 24/7 email assistance at!

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