Jan. 31 has long been, and remains, the deadline for employers furnishing copies Form W-2 to employees and certain Forms 1099-MISC to independent contractors.

Employers are now required to submit copies of  these forms to the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31 as well. This is part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act enacted last December.

In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms to the Social Security Administration. In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available and this extension is not automatic.

If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but by January 31. Please carefully review the instructions for Form 8809, for more information.