IRS final rules remove automatic extension of time to file Form W-2

The IRS has finalized rules for filing Forms W-2 (except Form W-2G) and Forms 1099-MISC with information in box 7 to accelerate the time for filing these forms so that the information concerning compensation in these forms is available earlier in the filing season for use in the IRS’s identity theft and refund fraud detection processes. The final regulations remove the automatic extension of time to file for these forms, but allow filers of these forms to request one non-automatic 30-day extension of time to file.

In the proposed regulations, the IRS included a number of other information forms in this no-automatic-extension-to-file rule, including the Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921, Form 3922, and the Form 5498 series. In the final regulations, the IRS retains the automatic extension of time to file for these forms because there is less risk of them being used for identity or refund fraud. The IRS has included a list of these information returns in the final regulations.

Criteria for granting non-automatic filing extensions

Filers who need an extension will use Form 8809 to request a non-automatic 30-day extension of time to file. The IRS states that it intends to update Form 8809 in time for the 2019 filing season to provide that a non-automatic extension of time to file will be granted only in certain situations. The IRS will grant a nonautomatic 30-day extension only when:

  1. the business is in a federally declared disaster area and that disaster
    1. left the business unable to resume operations or
    2. made necessary records unavailable;
  2. fire, casualty or natural disaster affected the operation of the business;
  3. the death, serious illness or unavoidable absence of the individual responsible for filing the returns affected the business’s operation;
  4. the information return is being filed for the first year of business; or
  5. the filer did not timely receive data on a third-party payee statement.

The above five criteria will all be set forth in checkboxes on Form 8809, according to the IRS.

Additionally, the IRS will grant an extension if the filer does receive the third-party payee statement by the statutory deadline, but not in time to prepare an accurate information return. If at least one of the criteria for granting an extension applies, the IRS will grant a 30-day extension. Filers who do not get a requested extension may ask for an abatement of a late filing penalty.

Effective/applicability dates

The regulations are effective on August 3, 2018 and applicable to requests for extension of time to file information returns required to be filed after December 31, 2018. IRS Reg. Sec. 1.6081-8T applies to extensions of time to file information returns required to be filed before January 1, 2019.

Source: 83 FR 38023.

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