New W-2 and 1099 Reporting Rules

Beginning with 2016 returns, due dates for Forms W-2 and certain Forms 1099 have been moved up, and the penalties for late or inaccurate forms have substantially increased.

* Form W-2 is due to the Social Security Administration on January 31, 2017, instead of February 28, whether you file electronically or by paper. (If you file 250 or more forms, you must file electronically.)

* Form 1099 must be submitted by January 31, 2017 if you're reporting non-employee compensation in Box 7. Otherwise, the forms are due to the IRS on February 28, the same as in prior years, or March 31 if you file electronically.

In addition to filing on time, you need to make sure the information on the forms is accurate.

Penalties for Failure to File Correct Information Returns may apply if you:

  • don’t file a correct information return by the due date and a reasonable cause is not shown,
  • file on paper when you were required to file electronically,
  • fail to report a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN),
  • report an incorrect TIN, or
  • fail to file paper forms that are machine readable.

Penalties for Failure to Furnish Correct Payee Statements may apply if:

  • you don’t provide a correct payee statement by the applicable date and a reasonable cause isn’t shown,
  • all required information isn’t shown on the statement, or
  • incorrect information is included on the statement.

How much are the penalties? If you fail to file on time and your business gross receipts are less than $5 million, penalties can range from $50 per return for up to 30 days late, to $260 per return for filing after August 1. The maximum dollar penalty can range from $186,000 to $1,064,000. If the IRS says you intentionally disregarded the rules, you can be fined $530 per return, with no maximum.