Are you Employer? Understand Employer Responsibilities for W-2 Forms

Are you Employer? Understand Employer Responsibilities for W-2 Forms

For both employers and employees, tax season brings with it the annual ritual of W-2 forms. As an employer, understanding your responsibilities regarding W-2 forms is crucial to ensure compliance and facilitate a smooth tax-filing process for your workforce.

Issuing W-2 Forms

Employers must provide W-2 forms to employees by January 31 each year, outlining their earnings and tax withholdings for the previous calendar year. Use w-2 generator for creating W-2 form.

Employee Information

Ensure that each W-2 form is accurate and includes the employee’s name, address, Social Security number, and employer identification number. Any errors could lead to complications during tax filing.

Earnings and Withholdings

W-2 forms must include detailed information about an employee’s total earnings, Social Security and Medicare wages, federal and state income tax withholdings, and any other relevant deductions.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Employers should verify that their EIN is correctly entered on each W-2 form. This identification number is essential for both the employer and employee when filing taxes. (Source: Create w2 online free)

Distribution of Copies

W-2 forms consist of multiple copies, each serving a specific purpose. The copies are labeled Copy A, Copy B, Copy C, Copy D, Copy 1 and Copy 2.

Copy A (IRS Copy)

This copy is submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) along with Form W-3.

Copy B (Employee’s Federal Copy)

Employees use this copy to file their federal income tax return. It must be provided to employees by January 31.

Copy C (Employee’s Record)

Employers keep this copy for their records. It provides a comprehensive overview of each employee’s earnings and tax information.

Copy D (Employer’s Copy)

This copy is kept by the employer for record-keeping purposes. It can be useful for reference in case of inquiries or audits.

Copy 1

Filed with the State Tax Authority (if necessary).

Copy 2

Filed with the State Tax Authority (if necessary).

Electronic Filing

Employers are encouraged to file W-2 forms electronically, which can streamline the process and reduce the risk of errors. Electronic filing deadlines are typically later than paper filing deadlines.


Understanding and fulfilling W-2 responsibilities is integral for employers to maintain compliance with tax regulations. Properly issuing W-2 forms and distributing the correct copies to both employees and relevant government agencies ensures a transparent and efficient tax season for everyone involved. As an employer, staying informed about W-2 procedures contributes to a positive employer-employee relationship and fosters a sense of financial security among your workforce.