With 2018 under wraps, your employees will begin asking “ Where is my w-2? ” Now is the best time to set your organization up for a quick and efficient W-2 distribution process. The IRS requires all employers to report annual wage and salary information for employees on Form W-2 by January 31 following that taxable year. The Form W-2 also reports the amount of federal, state and other taxes withheld from the employee’s paycheck, and is a needed for the employee to begin preparing their tax return. Many employees are anxious to receive this form and begin looking for it immediately after the first of the year. Following are four tips to ensure that employees gain access to their forms quickly and efficiently.
If you work with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or outsource your payroll, you have most likely escaped the duty of preparing the forms yourself.
There are still some things you can do however to ensure the process runs smoothly.
TIP 1: Ask employees to verify that the information on their paycheck stub is accurate and updated. Most importantly, they should ensure their social security number, the spelling of their name and their current address are correct on file. With direct deposit as a popular method of receiving a paycheck, it can be easy to overlook outdated information.
TIP 2: Notify employees when and where they can find Form W-2. As mentioned, it is mandatory for employers to provide this form on or before January 31 following the taxable year. If you or your payroll provider provide an online portal or Self Service Center, employees can choose to receive an electronic copy and skip waiting for the hard copy via the US Postal Service.
TIP 3: Find out who will answer your employees’ questions on the form. If you outsource your payroll, what resources or specific individuals can your employees turn to with their questions? Offering employees multiple ways to reach the individual or resources, like telephone numbers, email addresses, links to documents or ways to chat live on a website, is most helpful.
TIP 4: Communicate when and where the Form W-2 will be available to all employees before January 31. Include the contact information for the person who will help guide them with any questions after they receive the document. Providing this information in advance will eliminate unnecessary back and forth as employees search for this information.
Taking care of the above items before the first of the year will help ensure a more smooth W-2 distribution process for both you and your employees.
For more information, including how to read a Form W-2, check out Preparing Your Employees for W-2 Season.
If it’s time you considered outsourcing your administrative HR tasks like creating W-2s, we’d love to talk to you. Tandem HR provides hundreds of businesses headquartered in the Midwest with custom HR solutions. Customizing PEO or ASO options means you know exactly what you’re getting. Start saving your valuable time now. Call 630.928.0510, emailing simplify@TandemHR.com or fill out the form below.