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File your W-2 forms

SOLVEDby QuickBooks458Updated 1 month ago

Learn when and how to submit your W-2 forms to the Federal and state agencies.

Sending your W-2 forms to the appropriate agencies on time is an important payroll task at the end of the year. Depending on your payroll product, we may do this for you, or you can file electronically.

Not sure if we file for you? Here’s how to find out.

Let’s get started.

Deadline to file your W-2s

The deadline to file electronically is January 30.

When to file a W-3 with the Social Security Administration (SSA)

You don’t need to file a W-3 with the SSA if you send your W-2s electronically. The W-2s go to both the IRS and the SSA.

File your W-2s electronically

Select your product below to get started. 

Note: Not sure which payroll service you have? Here's how to find your payroll service.

If you use QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, or Elite with automatic tax payments and filings turned off, you'll need to e-file your W-2s. When you e-file, your W-2s are sent to the SSA and state agencies.

Step 1: E-file your W-2s

  1. Open QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Taxes, then Payroll Taxes.
  3. Select Filings.
  4. From W-2 Copies A & D (employer), select File.
  5. Select Annual Forms, then W-2 Copies A & D (employer).
  6. Select Continue.
  7. If prompted, tell us whether or not one or more employees were active participants in a retirement plan during the tax year.
  8. On the Employer Copies: Form W-2 page, select View to open Acrobat Reader.
  9. Review and print Copy D (Employer's copy) for your records.
  10. Select Submit to authorize us to file Copy A of Form W-2 electronically for you.

Once we’ve processed your W-2 filing, we’ll send you an email letting you know it’s complete.
You can also check the status of your filing on the status page:

  1. Select Taxes, then Payroll Taxes.
  2. Select Payroll forms or filings, then W-2.

Step 2: Print your W-2s and send them to your employees

Now you can print your W-2 forms and send them to your employees by January 31. Your employees can also view their W-2s online in QuickBooks Workforce.

These are the steps to e-file your Federal W-2s to the SSA. When finished, you may also need to File your state W-2s.

Step 1: Set up your W-2 E-filing

The first step to electronically file your W-2s is to set it up. 

  1. Open QuickBooks.
  2. Select Employees, then Payroll Center.
  3. Open the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Setup.
  4. From the Payroll Center, select the File Forms tab.
  5. From the Other Activities list at the bottom, select Change Filing Method.
  6. Select Continue.
  7. Select Federal Form W-2/W-3 from the list of forms, then select Edit.
  8. Select E-file, then Finish. This will open the enrollment instructions that you can read and print.
  9. Close the View Enrollments window.
  10. Select Finish Later.

Step 2: Create your W-2 Forms

Next, you’ll be able to create your W-2s. 

  1. Select Employees, then Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s.
  2. Select Process Payroll Forms.
  3. From the File Forms section, select Annual Form W-2/W-3 - Wage and Tax Statement/Transmittal and select Create Form.

Step 3: Send your W-2s

Now you’re ready to send us your W-2s to file electronically. 

  1. From Process W-2s, select All Employees to file by batch.
  2. From the Select Filing Period section, enter the year of the form you’re filing, and select OK.
  3. In the Select Employees for Form W-2/W-3 window, select the employees. You can also select Mark All to select all employees displayed.
  4. Select E-File Federal Forms.
  5. Enter your business phone number and email address. 
  6. Select Submit.

Step 4: Print your W-2s and send them to your employees

Now you can print your W-2 forms and send them to your employees by January 31. 

Step 5: Upload your W-2s to QuickBooks Workforce for your employees to view (optional)

You’ll need to upload the W-2s so your employees can view their W-2s online in QuickBooks Workforce

You’ll need to file your Federal and state W-2s and W-3 manually by January 31. See 2021 IRS W-2 filing instructions.

File your W-2s and W-3 manually if you need

See 2022 IRS W-2 filing instructions.

File your state W-2 forms

If you use QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, or Elite, your state W-2s are automatically filed with your Federal W-2s.

If you use QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced, see File state W-2 forms

Answers to other W-2 questions

See Get answers to your W-2 questions.

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