IRS has issued a reminder to employers and other businesses that 2017 W-2 and 1099-MISC forms that report non-employee compensation must be filed by Jan. 31, 2018.

In general, information returns are required to be filed for compensation paid by persons engaged in a trade or business, to individuals, whether as employees or nonemployees, in the course of the person’s trade or business. The returns for employees are Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, and the return for nonemployees is Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. Persons required to file a return are also required to furnish the individuals to whom the return relates with a written statement containing the aggregate amount of payments and the payor’s contact information. Those written statements must be supplied by Jan. 31 of the calendar year following the year for which the return must be filed.

Nonemployee compensation generally includes fees for professional services, commissions, awards, travel expense reimbursements, or other forms of payments for services performed for the payor’s trade or business by someone other than in the capacity of an employee.

Nonemployee compensation is shown on Form 1099-MISC, Box 7. Thus, Forms 1099-MISC with entries in Box 7 must be filed by January 31. However, for Forms 1099-MISC that don’t have entries in Box 7, the deadline remains Feb. 28 for paper filings or Mar. 31 for electronic filings.

IRS also offered filers a number of tips to employers to prepare, including verifying employees’ information, ensuring that their company’s account information is active and current with the Social Security Administration, and ordering paper Forms W-2 early if such are needed.

Finally, IRS cautioned that an extension of time to file Forms W-2 is no longer automatic, and extensions will be granted only for specific reasons.  For more information visit www.irs.gov.

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