If you had attended any of my year end webinars you would have found out that the IRS was discussing moving the due date of the Forms W-2 from the current date of March 31 (if electronic filing) or last day in February (if filing on paper). The discussion is over and the new regs have been released. Effective for the 2016 Forms W-2 filed in 2017, the due date is now January 31st for filing with the Social Security Administration regardless of method used to file. The reason for this change is simple…to prevent theft. An audit of the IRS back in 2012 discovered that over six billion dollars was lost to fraudulent filing of tax returns. Since the IRS works on the give first and verify later type of refunding (otherwise you would have to wait for your refund until June of each year) this type of fraud is hard to detect. The IRS was able to recoup over $20 billion of potential fraud even using this method. But the only way the IRS can totally prevent this type of fraud is by two ways. The first way is to delay refunding any taxes until after they have received the info from the employer. This means tax refunds would not go out until June or July of each year. Something that would drive the “villagers” to take up pitchforks and torches. The second way is to get the info from employers earlier than March 31st. And that is the way they have chosen to go. So put it on your year end calendar for 2016–W-2s due are due to both employees and the SSA on January 31st.