Vernoia, Enterline + Brewer, CPA LLC

tax returnTo curb identity theft, new IRS regulations remove the automatic extension of time to file most forms in the W-2 series. Starting for 2016 information due in 2017, employers and other taxpayers will be allowed only a one-time 30 day non-automatic extension. Further, the IRS issued proposed regs to remove automatic extensions for many information returns outside the Form W-2 series.

Background

Under current regs, employers and other taxpayers may request an automatic 30-day extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, by timely submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns. Moreover, an additional, non-automatic 30-day extension may be requested.

Criminals, the IRS explained, typically engage in stolen-identity tax refund fraud early in the filing season. The agency cannot verify the wage and other information reported on returns filed before April 15th, in part because it does not receive the information returns reporting this information until later in the filing season.

For example, electronically-filed information returns are generally due by March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year for which the information is reported. An extension of time to file under may extend the due date until the end of April or, if a non-automatic extension is also granted, the end of May.

Forms W-2 Series

Effective for the 2017 filing season (for 2016 tax–year return information), there will be no automatic extensions of time to file forms in the Form W-2 series except for Form W-2G, the IRS announced. Filers may request a single 30-day non-automatic extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series (except Form W-2G) due in 2017. The IRS cautioned that it expects to grant few non-automatic extensions.

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