Employers must file Form W-2 and other wage statements by February 1 in 2021 to avoid penalties.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that was enacted on December 18, 2015, made several changes to the way we file taxes. Now, employers file copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. That is also the date the Forms W-2 are due to employees.

However, in 2021, January 31 falls on a Sunday. By law, that means that they are instead due on the next business day, which is Monday, February 1.

In addition, some Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and the newly re-introduced Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation (more on that here), are also normally due to taxpayers on January 31, but in 2021, they will be due on the next business day, February 1, 2021.

No Automatic Extensions Available

Automatic extensions of time to file Forms W-2 are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons (check the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Time to File Information Returns).

More Due Dates Coming

As I do every year, I’ll post a chart of upcoming due dates for the new tax year. Keep watching this space!

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.

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