Former Employee’s Returned W-2

In this new age of “employee ghosting”, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has outlined what an employer should do if they receive a returned W-2 form for a former employee.

Under Federal Law, employers are required to provide employees with their prior year’s W-2 statement by Jan. 31st.

According to IRS guidelines as outlined by SHRM:

“Employers are required to keep all records of employment taxes for at least four years, including employee copies of W-2s that were returned as undeliverable”.

SHRM recommends that if a former employees’ statement is returned as undeliverable, employers must show that a reasonable effort was made to fulfill their obligations, including keeping sealed, post-marked envelopes to prove these efforts.

Failure to comply may result in substantial penalties imposed by the IRS.

For more details, please click here.

The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from SHRM on February 20, 2019, written by Lisa Nagele-Piazza and Allen Smith.

w-2 forms

Learn More About Our HR Related Services