Avoiding W-2 And W-3 Errors

The last quarter of the year is when many people start preparing forms for reporting their yearly wages. By remaining organized throughout the entire year, the rush to file all necessary paperwork at the end of the year will be far less stressful. Furthermore, if one is fully prepared throughout the year, tax time will be a breeze. Many people make the mistake of gathering all the information at the last minute and find that mistakes are easily made because of their lack of preparation. Common forms that the IRS finds mistakes on are W-2 and W-3 forms.

W-2 forms are the forms that employees will receive in the mail from their employers at the end of the year. These forms are required by law to be sent out to all employees. W-2 forms contain important information regarding wages received throughout the entire year. Also the amount of taxes withheld from the employees paycheck throughout the year is listed on this form. These amounts determine how much income tax a person will pay or receive for the tax season that year.

W-3 forms are forms used to send to the Social Security Administration to report wages and earnings as well. These are used to determine the amount of Social Security and Medicare wages that were taken out of the person’s check for the year. W-3 forms are required by law to be sent to the Social Security Administration prior to March of the new year. These forms are usually sent along with W-2 forms, and must be received for all people who are employed the prior year.

Common mistakes that people make on these forms are generally very simple. However, just the slightest mistake can cause a problem and the need for a new form to be submitted. One common mistake is that people use pencil or odd colored pens to fill out these forms. It is recommended that one uses only dark ink pens such as black. Also, be certain not to erase on your form, and avoid the use of white out. Another common issue that should be avoided is the use of dollar signs on these forms. Failure to follow these rules could result in the need for a new form to be issued.

Other mistakes that are made on these forms is placing numbers in the wrong place. For example, the W-2 form requires the employee’s social security number to be placed in box a. In addition, the employer’s 9 digit identification number is to be placed in box b. While the forms sound simple, it is surprisingly easy for someone who is rushed to place these numbers in the wrong boxes, or interchange them since they are both 9 digits.

On the W-3 forms, boxes that should be filled out are often skipped over. For example, form W-3 box b is often left blank when it is required to be filled out and completed. Uncompleted forms can cause issues with the Social Security Administration and may need to be redone.


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Employers can order the W-2 and W-3 forms as early as October. It is a good idea to start filling out the forms and gathering information to get an early start. Do not rush when preparing these vital forms to avoid a mistake. Another good idea is for business owners to try and attend a yearly seminar hosted by the IRS in order to prepare better. The more prepared an employer is, the more smoothly that tax season will be for them.

For over 30 years, ADS has provided quality payroll services to hundreds of clients throughout New Jersey, serving both the public and private sectors, always with an emphasis on superior customer service. http://adspayroll.com/

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