If you have W-2 employees you’ve paid in the last calendar year, you probably need to complete Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements with the Social Security Administration.
Who really needs to send in a W-3? How do you ensure you’ve filled it out completely? Read on to get all the answers.
What is Form W-3?
A W-3 is used to share all the information from your employees’ annual W-2s with the Social Security Administration. It serves as a summary sheet, providing the totals for the boxes on each employee’s Form W-2. It must be used by employers, even if only one W-2 is filed.
Please note: If you are filing W-2 forms for more than 250 employees (and therefore required to electronically submit them), a W-3 is not required.
What do you need to fill out Form W-3?
To complete Form W-3, you will need the following:
- Form W-3 Downloadable PDF
- Your EIN number
- The total amount paid in tips, and other compensation for the year
- The total amount of federal, state, and local taxes withheld for the year
- The total amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld for the year
- The total amount of deductions for dependent care assistance programs for the year
- Other compensation and benefits totals including elective deferrals for retirement plans and the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for the year
What’s the deadline for filing my 2020 Form W-3?
Your W-3, along with the corresponding W-2s, needs to be filed by January 31.
Instructions for filling out Form W-3
Boxes A-H are for information about your business from the type of organization you are to your EIN to your address. Fill each of these in. You may also want to enter the name and contact information for any employee that is authorized to speak to the Social Security Administration should any questions come up.
Next, you’ll fill out the numbered boxes:
- Boxes 1 through 8 – Enter the totals for each of the corresponding boxes on the W-2s you submit for your employees.
- Box 10 – Enter the total from box 10 of your W-2 forms.
- Box 11 – Enter the totals reported in box 11 on the W-2s submitted.
- Box 12a – Enter the total of all amounts reported using codes D through H, S, Y, AA, BB, and EE in box 12 on Form W-2.
- Box 13 – For third-party sick pay use only – this box should be left blank.
- Box 14 – This box should only be filled out if your employees had federal income tax withheld from third-party sick pay.
- Box 15 – Enter your state ID. If the W-2s being submitted with your W-3 contain wage and tax information for more than one state or territory, just enter an X under State without entering a state ID.
- Boxes 16 -19 – Enter any state or local wages reported on W-2s submitted.
Be sure to verify that the totals entered on your W-3 correspond with the totals from the W-2s you submitted. You’ll also want to double-check that the totals on your W-3 match those submitted on your 941, 943, or 944 forms throughout the year.
And that’s it!
If you’re using a full-service payroll service provider, both your W-2s and W-3 will probably be filled out automatically. Those businesses with 250 or more employees will need to file their W-2s electronically and will not need to complete Form W-3.
For additional instructions and information on Form W-3, visit the IRS website.