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Intuit

How to print W-2s forms

Learn how to print W-2s with your QuickBooks Payroll or Intuit Payroll subscription.

With payroll, you can file, print and distribute W-2s to your employees. Generally, you must furnish Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2 to your employees postmarked by January 31, and received within 7 business days after the postmark. You will meet the “furnish” requirement if the form is properly addressed and mailed on or before the due date.

What do you need in order to print your W-2s?

Before you start printing your W-2s, consider these items:

  • Subscription - An active payroll subscription is required to print your W-2s
  • Paper - Make sure you check your paper requirements.
  • Ink - Print your W-2s on non-reflective black ink. Special ink is not needed. Find more information about paper specifications in section 1B of Publication 1141.
  • Reprints - A reissued W-2 form must include the following:
  • Local taxes - Check if you have state or local taxes. If you have a lot, multiple W-2 pages may print.

Curious about what the boxes on the W-2 mean? For information about W-2s, see W-2 boxes explained.

How to Print your W-2s

Choose your payroll service below to print official and backup copies of your W-2:

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

Let’s print W-2s in QuickBooks Online Payroll Full Service, QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, QuickBooks Online Payroll Premium, or QuickBooks Online Payroll Elite.

Paper requirements

You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either:

Blank 3-part perforated paper, Blank 4-part perforated paper, or Plain paper - you must also provide the W-2 filing instructions to your employee

We’ll mail W-2s to your employees by January 31. W-2s are available for you to reprint in-product by January 10.

  1. Select Taxes, then Payroll Tax.
  2. In the Forms section, select the Annual Forms link.
  3. Select either All Employees or a specific employee name from the drop down menu provided.
  4. Select the W-2, Copies B, C & 2 link. It takes you to the Printable Employee Copies: Form W-2 page.
  5. Choose the appropriate period from the drop down menu.
  6. Select View to launch Adobe Reader in a new window.
  7. Select the print icon on the Reader toolbar. Then select Print again.

Select your paper

Before you print your W-2s, you need to select the paper you're using. To e-file your W-2s see File W-2 forms.

You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either: Blank 3-part perforated paper, Blank 4-part perforated paper, or Plain paper.

  1. Select the Gear icon and then Payroll Settings.
  2. Under the Preferences list select Form Printing.
  3. Select how you want to print Form W-2s, 3-part, 4-part perforated or on plane paper. perforated or plain paper. Then select OK.
    1. Plain paper W-2's are set up so the employee's address is visible through a single-window, standard No. 10 business envelope ((4-1/8" by 9-1/2", left-aligned window).
    2. Perforated paper W-2's show the employer and employee addresses in the double-windows of envelopes.

View and print W-2 forms

Starting January 1, you’ll see an item to print your employees' W-2 copies will appear on your To Do list. W-2 copy A is filed electronically, thus we don't print this form. But you must print and distribute W-2s to your employees.

  1. Go to Taxes then Payroll Tax.
  2. In the Forms section, select the Annual Forms link.
  3. Select either All Employees or a specific employee name from the drop down menu provided.
  4. Select the W-2, Copies B, C & 2 link. It takes you to the Printable Employee Copies: Form W-2 page.
  5. Choose the appropriate period from the drop down menu.
  6. Select View to launch Adobe Reader in a new window.
  7. Select the print icon on the Reader toolbar. Then select Print again.

Select your paper

Before you print your W-2s, you need to select the paper you're using within your company payroll preferences. You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either: blank 3-part perforated paper, blank 4-part perforated paper, or plain paper.

  1. Go to Setup.
  2. Under the Preferences section choose Form Printing.
  3. Select the desired W-2 printing option, and select OK.

View and print W-2 forms

Starting January 1, an item to print your employees' W-2 copies will appear on your payroll To Do list. W-2 copy A is filed electronically, thus we don't print this form. You must print and distribute W-2s to your employees.

  1. Go to Taxes & Forms.
  2. Under Forms select Annual Forms.
  3. Select W-2, Copies B, C & 2.
  4. View and Print the form.

To e-file your W-2s see File W-2 forms.

Select your paper

You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either: blank 3-part perforated paper, blank 4-part perforated paper, or plain paper.

W-2s are mailed to your employees by January 31. W-2s are available for you to re-print in-product by January 10.

  1. Select the Tax Records tab.
  2. Select W-2 Copies B, C & 2.
  3. Print the W-2 forms for the specific employee. The W-2 employee instructions will print with Copy B.
  4. If this is a reprint, write Reissued Statement at the top of the W-2 form.

View and print W-2 forms

If you chose the self-print option, you must print and distribute your own W-2s. W-2s will be available in the Payroll Tax Center January 10. If you chose Intuit Print your W-2s will be mailed by January 31.

You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either: Blank 4-part perforated paper (four horizontal W-2s per page) or Plain paper.

  1. Access the Payroll Tax Center.
    1. Go to Employees then Payroll Center.
    2. Click the File Forms tab.
    3. Click View/Print Forms & W-2s.
    4. Enter your payroll PIN. Click OK.
  2. Select the W-2s tab.
  3. Next to the Year dropdown menu choose the year you want to print.
  4. Select individual employee names from the list, or select the checkbox next to the title Employee to select all employees.
  5. Select the Open/Save Selected button.
  6. When the Print Instructions window opens, select the reason for printing the W-2s.
    1. Choose I'm printing original employee W-2s if you are going to give the W-2 to the employee for the first time.
    2. Choose I'm printing replacement employee W-2s for lost or damaged W-2s.
    3. Choose I'm printing W-2s for my records if this a copy for your company records.
  7. Based on your selection, a message about printing paper may appear. Load the appropriate paper into your printer. For more information about paper, see What type of paper should I use to print W-2 forms?
  8. An Adobe Reader file will open containing your W-2 selections.
  9. Go to the File menu and select Print to print your W-2s.
    1. If you need to check alignment see How to check W-2 form alignment when printing.

Additional Information:

  • Each employee should get a full page with 4 copies of their W-2 form: an employee gets 1 copy each of Copies B and C, and 2 copies of Copy 2.
  • If you would like to print copies of employee W-2 forms or other forms for your records, see How to view or print filed tax copies in the Payroll Tax Center for steps.
  • Fold your W-2 forms along the second perforation, with the fold inserted in the bottom of the envelope.

Select the paper

You can print the employee copies of Form W-2 on either: Blank perforated paper, preprinted W-2 forms, or 4-up or 3-up paper (three or four horizontal W-2s per page).

View and print W-2 forms

Update your QuickBooks Desktop and payroll tax table to the latest release before printing your W-2s.

NOTE: QuickBooks Desktop stores one version of the tax form only. If you need to print prior years of W-2s, you may use the newer version of the form, but information may not print in the correct locations on pre-printed forms. Check with the Social Security Administration for additional instructions.

To create and print W-2s

  1. From the Employees dropdown menu select Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s then Process Payroll Forms.
  2. Under File Forms tab, scroll down and select the Annual Form W-2/W-3 - Wage and Tax Statement/ Transmittal and click the Create Form button. The File Form window will open.
    1. If you are not able to find the form in the list, it may be inactive. To activate the form, select the Forms dropdown menu and choose Make a New Form Active. From the State dropdown menu select Federal. Select the W-2 form, and click Add Form.
  3. In the Process W-2s for options:
    1. Select All Employees if you want to file the forms of all your employees at once.
    2. Select Employee's Last Name (choose From and To) to file by batch.
  4. Next to Year, enter the year of the form you are printing and click OK. The Select Employees for Form W-2/W-3 window will open.
  5. Select the employees you are printing for. You can also click Mark All to select all employees displayed.
  6. Select Review/Edit to review each W-2. Reviewed W-2s have a checkmark in the Reviewed column. After reviewing, select Submit Form and follow the steps to print and file the form. You will have several options to print and also be able to align and print a test.
    1. NOTE - when you review the form a checkmark is automatically placed next to Automatically create an archive when I e-file or print to automatically save the form in a PDF format, in a default location whenever you e-file or print the form. Archived forms can be viewed from the File Forms tab.

To e-file your W-2s see E-file W2 and W3 in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.

Need to print a W-3?

The W-3 form is a summary of all W-2s that are filed with the Social Security Administration and is only required when filing by paper. If you need to print a W-3 form, please see W-3 Printing.

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