Import Prior Year W-2/1099 for E-filing Purposes

Greg Hatfield Updated by Greg Hatfield

Background: For various reasons, users often need to create and file information returns (W-2/1098/1099/W-2G) for a prior year. The typical procedure is to create the forms in the program corresponding to the desired year. For example, if a user needs 2016 returns, then Payroll System 2016 can be used to print the 2016 information returns. There are a couple problems that can arise. In order to file 1099s with the IRS, Copy A red forms are required so the user would need to purchase prior years forms which may be in short supply. Alternatively the forms could be e-filed. However, e-filing to the SSA and IRS always requires that the current year's specifications be used, even when filing a prior year return. So the prior year Payroll System cannot be used to e-file returns after November of the following year when the SSA and IRS typically switch to the new specifications (for example, specifications used in Payroll System 2016 can only be used to file through November 2017). In order to e-file the data, it would have to be reentered in the current year's program. A duplication of data entry was required.

Solution: This utility allows the user to copy information returns (W-2/1098/1099/W-2G) entered in a prior year program into the current year's program so that they may be e-filed using the current specifications. Manual entry of the data is not required.

The recommended steps for e-filing prior year information returns are as follows:

Original Returns (W-2/1098/1099/W-2G)

1. In the current year program, create a new client that will only be used for e-filing the prior returns. This can be a duplicate of an existing client with a different control number. For example, use the prior year as the control number to differentiate the two clients. Modify the Client List display to show the control number.

2. Enter the information returns in the prior year's program so that any recipient copies can be printed on plain paper. Note that Form W-3 and Copy A of Form W-2 that is filed with the SSA can be printed on plain paper. No red copies are needed so if you aren't required to e-file them, then it would be simplest to paper file everything. Continue to step 3 if you need to e-file the returns.

3. In the current year program, select the client created in step 1. Click the Utilities - Import Prior Year W-2/1099 for E-filing Purposes.

4. Enter the year of the prior year program containing the data from step 2. Click OK. Make sure the data location in the dialog is correct for your database. Click Open.

5. Select the client from the list. All information returns for that client will be copied to the current client selected in step 3.

6. If there are information returns that are not needed then they may be deleted. For example, if you are only going to e-file Form 1099-MISC, then any other information returns, such as Form W-2, that were copied can be deleted.

7. Proceed to the e-file/MagMedia screen and process the returns as a prior year file. See the e-file/MagMedia instructions for details on Form W-2 or Form 1099 filing.

Corrected Returns (1098/1099/W-2G)

1. In the current year program, create a new client that will only be used for e-filing the prior returns. This can be a duplicate of an existing client with a different control number. For example, use the prior year as the control number to differentiate the two clients. Modify the Client List display to show the control number.

2. Enter the information returns (AS PREVIOUSLY FILED, DO NOT CORRECT) in the prior year's program. Do not correct the returns yet because you must make an electronic file containing the as previously filed data before correcting it.

3. In the current year program, select the client created in step 1. Click the Utilities - Import Prior Year W-2/1099 for E-filing Purposes.

4. Enter the year of the prior year program containing the data from step 2. Click OK. Make sure the data location in the dialog is correct for your database. Click Open.

5. Select the client from the list. All information returns for that client will be copied to the current client selected in step 3.

6. If there are information returns that are not needed then they may be deleted. For example, if you are only going to e-file Form 1099-MISC, then any other information returns, such as Form W-2, that were copied can be deleted.

7. Proceed to the e-file/MagMedia screen and process the returns as a prior year file. See the e-file/MagMedia instructions for details on Form W-2 or Form 1099 filing. Mark the file as Submitted.

8. In the current year program, correct the return data and check the Corrected box on the form. If you need to print corrected forms, then you must also correct the returns in the prior year program.

9. Follow the procedure described in the e-file/MagMedia instructions for filing corrected returns.

Corrected Returns (W-2C)

1. The function described in this help topic is not needed for Form W-2C. Form W-2C for prior years can be created in the current program by importing Form W-2 data from a prior year program using the Utilities menu item to Transfer W-2 Data to W-2C. There is also a button on the Module Library bar in the center of the screen for this function. Select the year you are correcting. After the import is finished, complete Form W-2C with the correct data.

2. See the e-file/MagMedia instructions for e-filing Form W-2c.

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