New rules remove automatic extension to file W-2

The IRS has issued final, temporary and proposed regulations that remove the automatic extension of time to file information returns in the W-2 series. The temporary regulations allow only a single, 30-day, nonautomatic extension of time to file these information returns. The changes are being implemented to accelerate the filing of W-2s so they are available earlier in the filing season for use in the IRS’s identity theft and refund fraud detection processes.

Effective for the 2017 filing season, Reg. §1.6081-8, which currently provides an automatic 30-day extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, and allows an additional 30-day nonautomatic extension of time in certain cases, will be removed and new §1.6081-8T will be added. Reg. §1.6081-8T is substantially identical to Reg. §1.6081-8, except that it: (1) adds information returns on forms in the 1097 series and Forms 1094-C, 3921 and 3922 to the list of information returns with procedures prescribed by regulations for the extension of time to file; (2) removes information returns on forms in the W-2 series (except Form W-2G) from the list of information returns eligible for the automatic 30-day extension of time to file and, instead, provides a single 30-day, nonautomatic extension of time to file those information returns; and (3) clarifies that the procedures for requesting an extension of time to file in the case of forms in the 1095 series apply to information returns on Forms 1095-B and 1095-C, but not 1095-A.

The IRS anticipates that it will grant the nonautomatic extension of time to file only in limited cases where the filer’s or transmitter’s explanation demonstrates that an extension of time to file is needed as a result of extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe, such as a natural disaster or fire destroying the books and records a filer needs for filing the information returns. If the IRS does not grant the extension of time to file, information returns filed after their due dates are not timely filed, regardless of whether or when the application for extension of time to file was filed.

The temporary regulations affect taxpayers who are required to file the affected information returns and need an extension of time to file. The substance of the temporary regulations is included in the proposed regulations set forth in the NPRM REG-132075-14. These regulations are effective on July 1, 2016.

Proposed regulations

The IRS intends to eventually remove the automatic 30-day extension of time to file the other forms listed in Reg. §1.6081-8T and replace it with a single nonautomatic 30-day extension of time to file. Therefore, the proposed regulations would remove the automatic 30-day extension of time to file these other information returns. As currently drafted, the proposed regulations would affect information returns due January 1 of the calendar year beginning after the date of publication of final regulations in the Federal Register, but any earlier than the 2018 filing season.

Comments requested

Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by November 12, 2015. Submissions should be mailed to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132075-14), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132075-14), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C., or via www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-132075-14). (T.D. 9730, 2015FED ¶47,027 Proposed Regulations, NPRM REG-132075-14, 2015FED ¶49,659.)

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