Business owners: here’s a resource to help you satisfy new IRS filing dates

Small business owners need to have information on IRS filings at their fingertips. The IRS provides resources to help make it easier for employers to comply with new filing deadline dates for Form W-2 and certain forms 1099-MISC.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers to file their copies of Form W-2. Forms need to be submitted to the Social Security Administration by  Jan. 31. The filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

Below you’ll find resources to help answer your questions.

Employers face new Jan. 31 W-2 filing deadline

A new federal law aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud will accelerate the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31.

Some refunds delayed until Feb. 15

A new federal law moves up the W-2 filing deadline for employers and small businesses to Jan. 31. The new law makes it easier for the IRS to find and stop refund fraud. It also delays some taxpayer refunds. Taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won’t see refunds until Feb.15, at the earliest.

Employment tax due dates

Generally, employers must report wages, tips and other compensation paid to an employee by filing the required form(s) to the IRS. You must also report on the taxes you deposit.

General instructions for W-2 and W-3

Instructions for reminders, help and assistance with completing the W-2 and W-3 along with new due dates and extension dates to be aware of and other helpful tips.

Filing information returns electronically (FIRE)

By transmitting your Information Returns through the FIRE system, your files are processed faster with fewer errors.

Alert! Non-automatic extension request for form W-2

Effective last summer, Treasury Directive 9730 removed the automatic time extension to file information returns on W-2 forms (except Form W-2G). The directive replaces the 30-day automatic extension with a single, non-automatic, written extension request. The additional 30-day extension is no longer available.

Requests for an extension of time to file Form W-2 must be submitted on paper Form 8809 and postmarked by Jan. 31. Requests must include an explanation for the request. Approvals are not automatic. Requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Correspondence will be issued if the Form 8809 is incomplete or denied. IRS will not issue approval notifications.

Tax Topics - topic 301 when, how, and where to file

Helpful information on tax return due dates and where to file.

Available Assistance

Assistance is available to payers, transmitters and employers at the telephone numbers below for the following issues:

  • Questions from the payer and transmitter community relating to the correct preparation and filing (electronic or paper) of business information returns (Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8596  and W-2G).
  • Questions related to electronic filing of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, and Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits.
  • General Instructions for Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.
  • Notice CP2100, Please check your Backup Withholding List.
  • Notice 972CG, A penalty is proposed for your Information Returns.

Contact the IRS Monday through Friday

  • 866.455.7438 Toll Free
  • 304.263.8700 International
  • 304.579.4827 Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)

Assistance with individual taxpayer returns or account related issues cannot be provided on the numbers listed above.


Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) is a resource for small businesses across Nebraska and committed to strengthening rural communities through self-employed business development. Connect with a REAP business specialist near you.