Common Mistakes Made on Form W-3

Everyone knows that payroll reports, W-2s, and most 1099s all needed to be mailed off by January 31st, but you are not done yet. No, there is still more to do and February is where it all gets wrapped up.

You did the work and filled out all the W-2s. Good job . . . pat yourself on the back. Now let’s work on the form W-3. A W-3 form is the summary that accompanies your W-2s to the IRS and is due February 28. W-3s are not that challenging, but they leave room for mistakes and when it comes to the IRS, we don’t want any mistakes.

The common mistakes on W-3 form are:

Misspelling company name or wrong EIN: It is important that you make sure to use your legal company name and it matches what the IRS already has on file. Do not use your DBA (doing business as). Double check that the EIN you entered is correct as well. When entering in your information, it is easy to reverse numbers. If your EIN is incorrect or doesn’t match your name, the IRS will not consider the report received. The same rule applies to the W-2s sent out.

Not including the W-2s: It is important to include a copy of every W-2 sent with your filing of the W-3. Those that file the W-2 electronically tend to forget them. Remember, just because you filed the W-2s electronically doesn’t mean they will file the W-3 for you as well. Make sure to consider that when selecting your software.

Totals do not match: Remember that a W-3 Form is a summary of all the W-2s. Anything entered on the W-2s should have a total on the W-3. So if only one W-2 had retirement, then the W-3 should reflect that total. It does not hurt to re-add the W-2s to make sure they equal to the totals you are planning to use. Some of the W-2 software that I have used in the past did not always fill in of all the boxes that I filled on the W-2. Don’t rely on the software or program to do it for you. The information in QuickBooks or any accounting program is only as good as the data entered.

All of the above can be applied to a 1098 form as well. A 1098 form, which is also due by February 28, is the summary of your 1099s.

It is important to always file your reports on time and accurately. Of course if you are unable to, the team  at BASC Expertise is always here to help.

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