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Helpful answer and link, but the W-2's are submitted through the SSA.gov website. When the IRS asks the employer for the W-2s are they really asking them to file the paperwork with the Social Security Administration?
Yes. The government copies of the Form W-2's are filed by the employer with the SSA. However, the SSA then shares the data with the IRS. So essentially, when the employer files with the SSA, they are also filing with the IRS. I'm assuming you must be talking about prior year W-2's. The W-2's for 2012 are not due to be filed with SSA until Feb. 28th, 2013 if paper-filed.
I was talking about 2012. I submitted the W-2s online yesterday through SSA.gov. The SSA website said it takes 4 weeks to process them. My employees want to know if they can file their taxes now. I was worried my employees would try to file their taxes and the SSA would still be processing my W-2 submissions.
The employees can file their return as soon as they get their employee copy (which was due Jan. 31). They do not have to wait for government processing of these forms. The SSA may take 4 weeks to process but full IRS processing of W-2's takes over a year usually. The IRS will not start comparing what was reported by the employee versus what was reported on the employer W-2 copies for about a year or two. Hope this clears this concern for you.
Wow, I thought it would be done immediately. Thanks for the helpful details.