W2 Form

Small business teamIf you own a business and have employees, your life will be a lot easier if you learn how to submit your W2 Forms online.  It’s free through the Social Security Administration’s website and it’s very easy to register, too.

If you’ve tried to search and download a printable W2 Form online, then you might have noticed that either you have to pay for it through a private company or request your forms mailed from the IRS.  Do you like those options?  Wouldn’t you prefer to simply log onto the SSA’s website and submit your W2 Form electronically?

What is the W2 Form For?

This is a big country.  Collecting taxes from millions of taxpayers is a big job, but someone has to do it.  The IRS is tagged with this job for the Federal government, and it does a pretty good job and making us pay our fair share.

One of the main sources of revenue for the Federal government is income taxes. Another source is Social Security and Medicare taxes.  Social Security & Medicare taxes are taken right out of paychecks, through a salary reduction program called withholding.  Employers withhold a portion of every worker’s paycheck and send it to the IRS periodically, to cover each worker’s portion of their Social Security & Medicare taxes for old age.  The employer matches the amount taken out, and pays that much to the IRS as well.

When it comes time for each worker to file their annual federal income tax return, they’re going to need to know how much has been withhold from their paychecks all year.  That is used to figure their income tax and whether they get an IRS refund.  If too much has been withheld, they may get a refund.  If too little has been withheld, they will probably owe the IRS when they file their income taxes.

Here’s where the W2 Form comes in.  The employer must send each employee a statement indicating how much has been withheld.  This statement is called the W2 Form.  It’s due by January 31 of each year, so the employees have time to prepare and file their federal income tax return by the due date, April 15.

The employer must also send a copy to the IRS so the worker can’t cheat on their taxes and say way more was taken out, thereby increasing their refund.  So, in a checks and balances system, everyone involved gets a copy so everyone is on the same page.

Why You Can’t Print Your Own W2 Forms

Remember how we were saying this is a big country?  Well millions of workers means millions of W2 forms submitted to the IRS.  Yikes that’s a lot of paperwork.  The IRS needs to use computers to process all this information so they require employers to submit W2 Forms in one of two ways…

  1. paper W2 form, must be scannable
  2. electronic submission

In the old days before electronic filing was available, employers had to write to the IRS and ask for special W2 forms to fill out and submit.  These special forms were scannable.   They are still used, which is why you can’t just download a PDF version of the W2 form and mail it off to the IRS.  Penalties involved for doing that.

There are companies online offering “downloads” of W2 forms.  You’ll have to pay, and all they’ll be doing is getting those scannable forms from the IRS (which, by the way are free) and filling them out for you (easy peasy).  Don’t pay for W2 Forms!

Don’t pay for W2 form software, either.  Why pay for software that you don’t need? You can print all the W2 forms you want for employees, just go to the Social Security Administration’s website…see below for more info on that.

Instead, step into the modern world and file your W2 forms electronically.

File W2 Forms Online

The Social Security Administration has a wonderful website that’s easy to use and easy to understand.  You can create an account for your business and submit all your W2 forms online from now on.  For Free.

They call the system Business Services.  It’s actually a group things you can do once you’re logged in…submit W-2s, W-2Cs, W3s and also verify social security numbers as well as verify names.  It’s great!  You can register online or by phone.  Here’s the link to the SSA website for registering for Business Services.