W-3 Form

What Is a W-3 Form?

Form W-3 is a tax form used by employers to report combined employee income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration. Employers who send out more than one Form W-2 to employees must complete and send this form to summarize their total salary payment and withholding amounts. For employees and independent contractors, it's important to make sure the income reported by your employer matches your pay stubs, invoices, or any other financial record keeping you maintain.

Employers who send out a single Form W-2 do not need a separate form to tally the total amounts, as they’re displayed on their single employee’s Form W-2.

Who Needs to File W-3 Form?

Every employer required to file a Form W-2 must file Form W-3. This translates to most employers in the US, as Form W-2 is required after paying an employee more than $600 in wages in a given year, whether or not the employer withholds income or taxes from an employee’s wages.

Why Does the IRS Require Employers to File W-3 Form?

Form W-3 provides a benchmark for the IRS to compare figures from individual employees’ W-2 forms with the official totals reported by their employer.

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What Information Needs to Be Included in W-3 Form?

When Do Employers Submit W-3 Form?

Employers are required to submit Form W-3 by January 31 each year—a shared deadline with mailing employees their copies of their Form W-2.

How Do Employers Submit W-3 Form?

The preferred method is to submit wage files from your payroll software through the Business Services Online (or BSO) portal. The IRS and the Social Security Administration are phasing out their paper copy method with stricter regulations on who is eligible to file by mail.