If you are an employer (or just care about an employer), this is important!

There has been a change in IRS requirements with regard to filing W-2s. As always, employers MUST provide their employees with their copies of their W-2s no later than January 31st. This year, however; the employer must ALSO file the employer's copies that are sent to the Social Security Administration no later than January 31st.

This is a big change and speeds up some of the filing work for payroll departments because in previous years these forms were not due until March end, if filed electronically! The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

In a recent release, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, "As tax season approaches, the IRS wants to be sure employers, especially smaller businesses, are aware of these new deadlines. We are working with the payroll community and other partners to share this information widely."

The new accelerated deadline will help the IRS improve its efforts to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers, Koskinen explained.

"Having these W-2s and 1099s earlier will make it easier for the IRS to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. In many instances, this will enable the IRS to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past."

This change will affect every payroll department in the nation. Spread the word!