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States Are Requiring Earlier Filing, Here’s What it Means for Your Business

Every tax reporting season brings with it new requirements for businesses – these can range from small form changes to significant new regulations. In recent years, however, businesses have had to manage one particular ongoing change that has major ramifications for nearly every organization.

There has been a dramatic shift towards earlier filing deadlines the last couple of years, both at the federal level and the state level. Now is the time for businesses to take note of updated deadlines for year-end state reporting, as many have an accelerated filing date.

As the federal government pushes for earlier filing deadlines states are following suit to increase compliance and prevent fraud. For reporting year 2016, both the IRS and the SSA switched their deadlines to January 31 to help avert fraud. While deadlines for state W-2 and 1099 filings vary, businesses need to keep these deadlines in mind to avoid penalties. For the majority, January 31, 2018 will be the date to remember, but that is not the case everywhere.

States have traditionally had later filing deadlines, extending to the end of February or March, but are overwhelmingly trending towards mimicking the federal deadline.

For tax year 2017, the following states require filing by January 31:

AlabamaKansasNorth Dakota
ArizonaKentuckyOhio
ArkansasLouisianaOregon
ColoradoMainePennsylvania
ConnecticutMarylandRhode Island
DelawareMassachusettsSouth Carolina
Washington, D.C.MinnesotaUtah
GeorgiaMississippiVermont
IdahoMissouriVirginia
IllinoisMontanaWisconsin
IndianaNebraskaIowa
North Carolina

It is important for businesses to be aware of all updated requirements for each filing season, but paying special attention to filing deadlines is imperative, as missing a deadline can result in significant fines. Filing penalties vary by state and range from fines of $1 per statement to $100 per statement for late filing or failure to file. Most states that have penalties in place have a maximum limit that can reach as high as $500,000.

As the government continues to take steps to alleviate fraud, businesses are encouraged to immediately contact the IRS to help protect clients in the instance of a security breach or theft of taxpayer or employee data. To help keep yourself, your business, and your employees safe, be mindful of deadlines to remain compliant and secure during the 2017 filing season.

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