Under a new law, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, the new filing deadline for employers to submit forms W-2 to the Social Security Administration, is January 31. The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.
In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit these forms. However, the gap between that due date and the beginning of the filing season made it difficult for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to match up forms W-2 with tax returns requesting refunds. The result? Room for fraud. The new deadline, which has long been on the wish list for the IRS, will make it easier to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers. The IRS says that, in many instances, this will enable them to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.