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Understand the timing for your W-2s

SOLVEDby QuickBooks315Updated January 11, 2024

Learn how and when your W-2s are filed, sent to your employees, and when you and your employees can view and print them if needed.

We’re all eager to get our W-2s as soon as possible. There are several key dates to know when it comes to W-2s.

Select your payroll service below to understand more about these key tasks and dates.

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

Opt in or out of paperless W-2

If you use QuickBooks Online Payroll, your employees can opt out of a mailed copy of their W-2 through QuickBooks Workforce now through January 3.

Preview your W-2s before they’re filed

Preview your W-2s before they’re sent to the government and your employees. If you find an error, fix it and avoid a W-2C. You can preview W-2s December 4, 2023 through January 1, 2024

Preview your W-2s before they’re sent to the government and your employees. If you find an error, fix it and avoid a W-2C. You can preview W-2s November 7 through December 15

W-2 filing

Who files your W-2s and when depends on your automated taxes and forms selection.  

  • If automated taxes and forms are on, that means we’ll do it for you automatically shortly after January 1.  
  • If automated taxes and forms are off, you can file them yourself electronically through QuickBooks on or after January 1.  

If you need to see your automated taxes and forms selection: 

  1. Go to Settings, then Payroll Settings
  2. From Taxes and forms, select Edit

Note: You can’t change this setting in January. 

We file your W-2 forms for you with the SSA and IRS shortly after January 1.

W-2 delivery to your employees

Who delivers your W-2s and when depends on your automated taxes and forms selection.  

  • If automated taxes and forms are on, we’ll mail the W-2s to your employees’ home addresses (for those who opted for a mailed copy) via USPS starting January 16 through January 31.  
  • If automated taxes and forms are off, you’ll need to print and send the W-2s to your employees who want a mailed copy. Make sure to postmark your W-2s by January 31. 

If you need to see your automated taxes and forms selection: 

  1. Go to Settings, then Payroll Settings
  2. From Taxes and forms, select Edit

Note: You can’t change this setting in January. 

You have two options for W-2 delivery to your employees:

  • Self-Print: Purchase W-2 paper and print your W-2s, then send them to your employees. W-2s are available in the Payroll Tax Center starting January 10.
  • Intuit Print Service: We mail W-2s to your employees’ home addresses for you starting January 16 through January 31. Additional fees apply.

To select or change your W-2 print option, do the following no later than December 31. Note: You can't change this option from January 1 through February 15.

  1. Select Employees, then Payroll Center.
  2. Select the File Forms tab.
  3. Select View/Print Forms & W-2s.
  4. Enter your Payroll PIN.
  5. The default option is Intuit Print Service. If you want to change to Self-Print, select the Change W-2 printing option link, then select Self-Print.

You’ll need to print and send the W-2s to your employees. Make sure to postmark your W-2s by January 31.

W-2s available in your payroll product to print

When W-2s are available in your payroll product to print depends on your automated taxes and forms selection.

  • If automated taxes and forms are on, you can view and print your W-2s starting January 15. 
  • If automated taxes and forms are off, You can view and print your W-2s starting January 1. 

If you need to see your automated taxes and forms selection: 

  1. Go to Settings, then Payroll Settings
  2. From Taxes and forms, select Edit

Note: You can’t change this setting in January. 

W-2s available in QuickBooks Workforce for your employees to see and print

Your employees can view and print copies of their W-2s from QuickBooks Workforce once your W-2s have been filed.

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