Form W-3 сhecklist: everything you need to know before filing

This post was updated on January 2019


The tax season is approaching at lightning speed, but there’s no need to panic. Online tax software allows more than 150 million US taxpayers to find, fill out and file tax forms on time and without any hustle. Moreover, e-filing your tax returns allows you to get rid of filling out other unnecessary tax forms, such as Form W-3: Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.

Yeah, that’s right: you’ll need form W-3 only if you file your form W-2 on paper.

Still, before making a decision, let’s find out who needs a W-3 and when to file it.


What is Form W-3 for?

Employers use Form W-3 as a transmittal, which is forwarded to the Social Security Administration, showing total earnings, Medicare wages, Social Security wages and withholdings for all employees over the course of the previous year.


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Who files Form W-3?

Employers who file a paper-based Form W-2 must also file Form W-3 in order to transmit Copy A of Form(s) W-2.

Every employer engaged in a trade or business who pays remuneration, including non-cash payments of $600 or more for the year (all amounts if any income, social security, or Medicare tax was withheld) for services performed by an employee must file Form W-2 for each employee. These requirements hold true even if:

  • Income tax, Social Security, or Medicare was withheld.
  • Income tax would have been withheld if the employee had claimed no more than one withholding allowance or had not claimed exemption from withholding on Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.


Is Form W-3 accompanied by other forms?

The form must be filed with the Social Security Administration along with a paper Copy A of Form(s) W-2.


When is Form W-3 due?

Copy A of Form W-3 must be filed with the Social Security Administration by January 31st, 2019.

And again, don’t file this form on it’s own: always accompany it with Form(s) W-2.


How do I fill out Form W-3?

Save time and reduce errors filling out your Form W-3 online with PDFfiller.

The easy-to-use online tools allow you to type text and numbers anywhere on the form and sign it from your computer or mobile device.

Employers have to add their personal information: name, identification number, address. The main part of the form requires employee details such as wages and taxes. The employer also needs to sign Form W-3 and add the date.


Where do I send Form W-3?

Still want to file Form W-3 on paper? It’s your choice. Just send Copy A together with Form(s) W-2 to the Social Security Administration, Direct Operations Center.

Copy 1 of the W-3 is sent to your local tax department.

The IRS recommends saving both copies of the W-3 for your own records for at least four years: just in case.


Learn more about deadlines and the documents you’ll need for your business HERE.