Handling Employee W2s

Does your company have set policies for W-2s, such as how to deliver them to employees; how to handle requests for duplicate copies; or what you do with undeliverable mailed forms?

Policies can alleviate unnecessary time spent on tasks quickly and efficiently. For example, to begin, determine a policy for how your company wishes to deliver W-2s to employees. If you prefer to send them electronically, consent forms need to be issued and returned from employees before the issue date. Employees have the right to receive a paper copy if they prefer.

Next, determine how your company wishes to accept requests for duplicate copies of W-2s (e.g. via an on-line form, only in writing, by email). Whatever your decision, be sure it is streamlined and overseen by a responsible individual.

Develop a good way to log requests and track progress or steps done. If you choose to use a form, include lines for date received, date responded, email address, and address where the W-2 should be sent. The last two items are always good to seek in order to maintain current contact information.

Lastly, when a W-2 is returned, decide how you process it. We recommend keeping the W-2 in its original envelop, which is your company’s proof you sent it, and file it. If you can correct the address, just place the returned envelop into a new one and mail to the employee. However, if you do not receive corrected address information, IRS guidelines say to hold onto the W-2 for at least four years. If you are a paperless (or reduced paper) office, scan the contents of the returned envelop, and the envelop itself, and electronically file the information in a secure place.

By putting W-2 policies in place, you can swiftly manage and find anything you or an employee may need, without duplicating efforts to do so.  

For more information or questions, please contact us at 401-831-0200.

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