Form W-2 is widely known among business owners. When it comes to the W-3 tax form, however, many people are confused. What is the W-3 tax form? Stick around if you want to find out the answer to this question. Filing instructions for this form are included in the last section.
What Is Form W-3?
Officially titled Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, the W-3 form definition includes providing aggregated information on a business’s employees and their wages, federal income tax, etc.
As a business owner who hires employees, it’s your duty to supply them with W-2 forms. These are individual wage and tax statements. After your employees complete their respective W-2 forms and file them, you need to verify this financial information by filing W-3 with the IRS.
Apart from data regarding your employee’s wages and contribution in terms of taxes, it includes your own details as an employer. This information can be used for income tax return purposes.
Who Files Form W-3?
Filing a W-3 form for self-employed professionals might not be required depending on the circumstances. That is, the fact you own a business does not necessarily mean you’ll need to file a W-3 with the US Social Security Administration (also known as the SSA).
The target audience of the form consists of business owners. However, it’s important that you note that it’s only to be filed as part of a package including W-2. You’re highly unlikely to deal with it until you hire your very first employee. From that moment on, you’ll most probably need to send them W-2 and then submit W-3 to verify the information they have provided.
To sum up, you’ll need to answer the following question to find out whether you’re expected to file W-3: “Are you required to send W-2 to your employees?” If yes, get a W-3 copy for yourself as well. Otherwise, don’t.
How to Fill Out W-3 Form?
You need a fillable copy of the W-3 tax form in order to complete it properly. While there’s nothing to prevent you from getting a paper one, the SSA’s recommendation as well as ours is that you go electronic. This way of filing is also available for W-2 forms, so there should be no problems with this.
A PDF copy with fillable fields is probably the easiest and most convenient solution you can find on the Web. For full instructions on filing the two forms, W-2 and W-3, go to the section dedicated to either on the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
Instructions are also included in fillable copies. It’s only the part that shows in red that you need to fill out. The left part is dedicated to the employer and employee and contains their identifiers and personal details.
In fields 1 to 19 on the right, provide financial information such as the number of social security tips received by the employee, tax withheld from their income, etc. Upon completion, you need to sign the form in the appropriate field to certify that the information in it is true and correct.
Please note that there are fields marked “for official use only,” which you don’t need, and shouldn’t fill out.
How to File Form W-3?
For those wondering how to file a W-3 form with the SSA, there are two possible answers. You can either send the entire pack (W-2 + W-3) by mail or file both forms electronically. The instructions emphasize that you mustn’t file one by mail and the other online.
For 2021, you must file the package before January 31, 2022. Make sure you don’t send a photocopy when filing by mail, since the SSA won’t accept it. The same refers to copies you’ve downloaded and printed on your own since they won’t be scannable. The instructions also warn against enclosing any payment orders or checks with the form.
W-3: A Simple Tool for Tax Control
As you can see, W-3 is an easy-to-navigate form designed for employers to verify tax data on their employees. Remember that you can only file it in conjunction with the respective W-2.