Form W-2: Generating employee Wage and Tax Statements

Form W-2 is used to report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to employees, as well as FICA and withheld income taxes. For the 2021 tax year, the deadline to distribute completed forms to employees is January 31, 2022

In this article


What is Form W-2 for?

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement is used by employers to report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to employees, as well as FICA and withheld income taxes. The IRS requires all employers to file a Form W-2 for each employee (even if the employee is related to the employer) from whom:

  • Income, Social Security, or Medicare tax was withheld
  • Income tax would have been withheld if the employee had claimed no more than one withholding allowance, or had not claimed exemption from withholding on Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate

Every employer who pays remuneration, including non cash payments of $600 or more for the year (all amounts if any income, social security, or Medicare tax was withheld) for services performed by an employee must file a Form W-2 for each employee. More information about Form W-2 is available from the IRS in About Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Back to top


Important dates

January 17, 2022 2021 W-2s available for self-serve customers to generate in Wave
January 5, 2022 Final day to request corrections to 2021 pay or benefits for entry to be completed before the filing deadline
January 17, 2022 2021 W-2s available in Wave Payroll accounts with tax service
January 31, 2022
Deadline to provide employees with their copy of Form W-2
January 31, 2022

Deadline for self-serve customers to file with the Social Security Administration (Wave files W-2s on behalf of those with tax service)

Back to top


Steps to take for Form W-2

Tax Service  (Your tax service was set up during or before Q4, 2021)

Wave will:

  • Generate W-2s based on payrolls approved in Wave with a 2021 payday
  • Post W-2s for 2021 on the Tax Forms page by January 17, 2022
  • File W-2s with the Social Security Administration
  • File state copies as required in AZ, GA, IL, IN, MN, NC, VA and WI

Employers need to:

  • Distribute W-2s to their employees
    • If an employee has not been invited to view their pay stubs, they will not have any access to their W-2 online through Wave
    • Once forms are posted, employees who have accepted invitations to view their pay stubs online will be able to access their W-2s in Wave
    • Employers can see all employee W-2s in Tax Forms

 

Self-serve  (Tax service not available in your state, or not set up before the end of Q4, 2021)

Employers need to:

  • Generate W-2s
  • Distribute W-2s to their employees
    • If an employee has not been invited to view their pay stubs, they will not have any access to their W-2 online through Wave
    • Once forms are generated, employees who have accepted invitations to view their pay stubs online will be able to access their W-2s in Wave
    • Employers can see all employee W-2s in Tax Forms
  • File W-2s with the Social Security Administration and applicable state agencies

Additional details on these steps are provided in the next sections. 

Back to top


How to generate and download Form W-2

How to download  (Tax service customers, and previously generated self-serve forms)

Once W-2 forms are generated, they can be downloaded from PayrollTax Forms. 

How to generate  (Self service customers only)

  1. Under Payroll > Click Tax Forms
  2. Next to Employees and contractors select the tax year for which you want to generate W-2s
  3. Locate Form W-2 and W-3 package > Under Actions > Click Generate next to W-2 and W-3
  4. On the Review your W-2 & W-3 forms page > complete the W-3 Fields section
  5. Review employee W-2 information in the Employees summary section. If the information in the summary is not correct, update it as outlined in how to correct Form W-2 before proceeding
  6. When employee summary information is correct, click Generate W-2s and W-3
  7. W-2 and W-3 generation is complete, and you're brought to the 2021 W-2 and W-3 filing page
  8. Employees who have accepted invitations to view their pay stubs in Wave will immediately be able to see their W-2 in the Tax Forms section of their Wave account. You will need to provide employee copies to any employees who haven't set up online access to their pay stubs
  9. Remember to file your W-2s! Learn more in how to file Form W-2

You must have an active or limited access payroll subscription to generate W-2 Forms in Wave. To reactivate, go to Settings > Billing.

Back to top


How to correct Form W-2

Tax Service  (Your tax service was set up during or before Q4, 2021)

To request a correction to your W-2 forms, click on the help icon at the bottom right of the screen in your Wave account and type W-2 corrections. Mave, our support chatbot, will help you submit a request to the Support Team.

If the only information that requires correction is the employee address, the IRS does not require a W-2C to be filed. Wave suggests employers follow this IRS guideline in cases where the employee copy address is also incorrect: "Reissue the Form W-2 with the incorrect address to the employee in an envelope showing the correct address or otherwise deliver it to the employee."

 

Self Serve  (Tax service not available in your state, or not set up before the end of Q4, 2021)

If W-2 forms have not been filed with the SSA

  • Updates to employee information (including name and Social Security Number) can be made by opening the W-2 and W-3 package in Tax Forms and discarding the previously generated forms. Correct the employee's information in the employee section, then re-generate your W-2s
  • If the only information that requires correction is the employee address, the IRS does not require a W-2C to be filed. Wave suggests employers follow this IRS guideline in cases where the employee copy address is also incorrect: "Reissue the Form W-2 with the incorrect address to the employee in an envelope showing the correct address or otherwise deliver it to the employee"
  • If you need to correct information about wages, benefits, or taxes reported on Form W-2, click on the help icon at the bottom right of the screen in your Wave account and type W-2 corrections. Mave, our support chatbot, will help you submit a request to the Support Team.

Back to top


How to file Form W-2

Tax Service  (Your tax service was set up during or before Q4, 2021)

Wave files W-2 Forms with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and supported tax service states on your behalf. 

Self Serve  (Tax service not available in your state, or not set up before the end of Q4, 2021)

Employers are responsible for filing W-2 Forms (wage reports) with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Employers can upload the electronic transmission file produced in Wave Payroll directly to SSA Business Services Online. Wave provides a Social security business services online (SS BSO) registration guide if you need help registering for the first time.

Employers are also responsible for state filing if required. More information is available in Form W-2: State-by-state year end filing guide.

Back to top