Form W-2 is used to provide income and withholding information to employees for their income tax returns.
Form 1099-MISC is the form you use to provide income information to independent contractors, freelancers, and other non-employees. Most non-employees must receive a 1099-MISC form if you have paid that person $600 or more in the previous year.
If you are not sure whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, you can read more about this subject in the article: "Employee? Or Independent Contractor?"
You can get W-2 forms from your local office supply store, from your CPA, or online from the IRS. You can also get W-2 forms from your tax program (some programs).
Where you CANNOT get W-2 forms
You can't download and print out W-2 forms from the IRS website or elsewhere on the Internet. Copy A is a specific color of red ink and only originals can be submitted.
You can prepare W-2 forms manually using a fillable PDF form on the SSA website or with purchased software, or you can use the small business version of tax preparation software, if it has these features. You can also use a tax preparation service or a payroll service to do this preparation.
You can submit W-2 forms in paper form or online. If you are submitting paper forms, make sure you have the correct version.
You can submit these forms online using the Social Security Administration's Business Services Online service.
Here's a listing of common errors that are made on Form W-2. Before you give Form W-2 to employees, and especially before you submit W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration, take a few minutes to make sure everything is perfect.
Now that the deadlines for giving W-2s to employees and to the Social Security Administration are the same, you will have to go through a correction process with the SSA to correct errors on these forms.
This article explains the penalties for late filing of W-2s and also how you can apply for a 30-day extension. The extension isn't granted automatically, and you must provide a detailed explanation of why the extension is necessary.
W-2 Form - How to Complete, File, Print and Send
Form W-2 is the statement you provide employees after the end of each year, with information on their gross pay, Social Security and Medicare pay, federal and state income tax withholding, and tax-related deductions. You must provide this statement to every employee who worked for your company the previous year, by the end of January the following year.
The deadline for giving employees their W-2 forms hasn't changed. It's still January 31.
UPDATE: The deadline for submitting W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration (SSA) has changed.
W-2 forms, along with W-3 form, must be submitted to SSA no later than January 31 of the following year. The deadline for giving W-2 forms to employees is the same as in the past - January 31 of the following year.