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File your W-2 and W-3 forms

by Intuit Updated 3 months ago

Learn when and how to submit your W-2 and W-3 forms to the Federal and state agencies through QuickBooks Online Payroll and QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.

Sending your W-2 and W-3 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 using QuickBooks.

Note: If you use QuickBooks to electronically file your W-2s, you're not required to file W-2s with EFTPS.

Starting tax year 2023, if you have 10 or more combined 1099s, W-2s or other federal forms to file, you must file them electronically. To learn more, see IRS and Treasury issue final regulations on e-file for businesses.

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.

Depending on your payroll tax setup, we’ll file your W-2s automatically, or you’ll have to e-file them through QuickBooks.  

  • If you’re set up to have QuickBooks automatically pay your taxes and file your forms, there’s nothing you need to do.  We’ll file the W-2s for you and send copies to your employees if they opted for a paper copy. 
  • If you’re set up to pay and file electronically through QuickBooks, follow the steps below to e-file your W-2s.
  • If you opted to pay and file with the agencies yourself, you’ll need to e-file your W-2s using the steps below.  You can’t print the employer copies from QuickBooks.  You can print the copies to send to your employees. 

Step 1: E-file your W-2s

  1. Sign in to your QuickBooks Online account.
  2. Select Taxes, then Payroll tax (Take me there).
  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 tax (Take me there).
  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.

We’ll file your W-2s for you.  You can opt to print copies for your employee’s yourself once they’re ready, or have us send them to your employees (fees apply).

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 2023 IRS W-2 filing instructions.

Deadline to file your W-2s

The deadline to file electronically is January 30.

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

When to file form W-3

Filing form W-3 depends on how your W-2s are filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

  • If you mail the W-2 copy A to the SSA, you'll need to file Form W-3 along with the W-2 copy A. See Get a report that shows my W-3 info below to get the details you need to complete Form W-3.
  • You don't need to file Form W-3 if we file your W-2s for you, or you file them electronically with our payroll services.

Get a report that shows my W-3 info

Select your product below to get a report that helps you fill out Form W-3.

  1. Select Business Overview, then Reports.
  2. In the Find report by name dropdown ▼, enter Payroll Tax and Wage Summary.
  3. Change the date range to This Year. Select Apply.
  4. Select the Share dropdown ▼, and choose if you want to save or print your report.
  1. Select Reports
  2. Select Employees & Payroll
  3. Select Payroll Summary
  4. Make sure your date range spans an entire calendar year.
    Note: Reference the Total column on the far right for W-3 totals.
  5. Select Print.
QuickBooks Online Payroll CoreQuickBooks Online Payroll EliteQuickBooks Online Payroll PremiumQuickBooks Payroll AssistedQuickBooks Payroll BasicQuickBooks Payroll EnhancedQuickBooks Payroll Standard

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