Finance News & Insights

IRS gets tough on filing deadlines: What you can do

The IRS recently told Finance pros what they should expect if they suddenly realize they need extra time to file Forms W-2 or other Tax Year 2016 forms.  

During its January Payroll Industry Call, the IRS reminded employers of an important reg change in effect for the first time: The automatic extension to file Forms W-2 is gone.

Although with other forms, such as 1095s or 1099-MISCs, you can still receive an automatic extension, in the case of W-2s, you must give the IRS a detailed explanation to get the extra 30 days.

Then, that’s it – no additional extension. Note: With other forms, additional time is still a possibility.

Remember, the form you must use, Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time To File Information Returns, has a fluctuating due date.

That form is due on or before the deadline of the form for which you’re seeking an extension.

So, for example, you have to file Form 8809 by Jan. 31, 2017, if you need more time to file W-2s.

And the stakes are high: If the IRS denies your request, the original deadline stands.

Tough to convince

In its regs, the IRS says it’ll grant W-2 filing extensions to employers facing “extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe.”

So, if there’s a natural disaster or a fire that destroys your records, the IRS may cut you a break.

Otherwise, don’t bank on it.

Avoid potential confusion

Tell your Payroll folks to take special note of the deadlines for Form 1095 this year-end to avoid any confusion.

Although the IRS bumped back the deadline for getting the forms to employees again for Tax Year 2016, you don’t have extra time to send the forms to the IRS – unless you request that. Bear in mind:

  • Paper filers have until Feb. 28, 2017, to submit the forms.
  • For electronic filers, the deadline is March 31, 2017.

If you need more time, be sure to submit Form 8809 by those deadlines.

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