This year marks a particularly important year for filers, as the deadline for submitting Form W-2 to the SSA and Form 1099-MISC to the IRS has changed significantly.
Due to changes in the law wrought by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, beginning in 2017 (for the 2016 reporting year), filers must send W-2 and 1099-MISC recipient copies and submit to the SSA/IRS by January 31, regardless of method (paper or e-file).
Historically, filers were required to provide W-2 and 1099-MISC forms to recipients by January 31; however, they were not required to submit the forms to the SSA/IRS until February 28 (paper) or March 31 (e-file).
The new filing deadline, as it relates to Form 1099-MISC, only affects filers reporting nonemployee compensation payments in box 7. Although the overwhelming majority of 1099-MISC filers will report information in box 7, there is bound to be some confusion.
Also, the IRS eliminated the automatic 30-day extension of time to file W-2 forms. Previously, filers could obtain an automatic 30-day extension by submitting Form 8809 to the IRS on or before January 31. Filers could also request an additional 30-day extension, pushing their e-file deadline to the end of May. A single 30-day extension still can be applied for on Form 8809, but it is no longer automatic.