A business associate of mine always says “put a policy between you and a potential problem”! And I heartily agree. You want to avoid getting last minute phone calls from employees or their spouses and you REALLY want to avoid sending sensitive information to someone who has no authorization to have it!
So for those and assorted other reasons, all businesses should have their own policy for handling requests for duplicate W2’s!
Here is our suggestion for an easy way to start, which can then be edited as your experiences dictates:
- Require employees to submit all requests in writing
- Provide a company Duplicate W-2 Request Form including:
- Date request was submitted
- Space for their current address
- in case the address on file needs to be changed
- and as supporting documentation if the W-2 is returned and the employee complains
- Signature of the employee authorizing a duplicate to be sent
- A space for internal notation of the date that the duplicate W-2 was mailed
- Scanning the enveloped the W-2 is mailed in (including the postmark and address used) serves as proof that the document was mailed and when
Issuing the Duplicate W-2: Print “Reissued Statement” in the upper right-hand corner on all W-2 copies.
- This can be done by making a copy of the employer’s copy (Copy D) and printing the statement on it
- If you decide to reprint from your software, like QB, be sure to NOT print and/or file again with the government
- And you will have to manually add the “Reissued Statement” to the top of the form
If W-2s are returned: Be sure to keep all returned W-2s in the original envelope!
If the employee contacts you in search of their W-2, put the original returned envelope into another envelope and mail it to the corrected address provided. Again, make a copy of the new mailing envelope.
If the employee does not contact you, keep the W-2 for a minimum of 4 years as proof you mailed it before the deadline.
* NOTE: You can also stay within required guidelines by scanning copies of W-2s B and C and shredding the originals
Another solution to this problem would be to post the duplicate W-2 to a secured website for employees to access themselves. Be sure to include directions informing the employee how to obtain the duplicate W-2.
We use the Intuit Payroll site: https://paychecks.intuit.com/ where employees have full access to all their paystubs and tax forms.