Time for filing information returns; removal of automatic extensions

Time for filing information returns

The Treasury Department and IRS today released for publication in the Federal Register temporary regulations (T.D. 9730), and by cross-reference, proposed regulations (REG-132075-14) that remove existing regulatory provisions allowing an automatic extension of time to file information returns under the Form W-2 series.

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Instead, the temporary regulations will:

  • Allow only a single 30-day non-automatic extension of time to file the identified information returns
  • Update the list of information returns subject to the rules regarding extensions of time to file

 

Read the temporary regulations [PDF 224 KB] and proposed regulations [PDF 173 KB]

Summary

According to the preamble, these changes to accelerate the filing of Forms W-2 (except Form W-2G) are being made so that the forms will be available earlier in the filing season, and therefore, will fit into the IRS plans to address identity theft and refund fraud.

The preamble states that a single 30-day non-automatic extension of time to file information returns in the Form W-2 series due in 2017 (calendar year 2016 forms) may, in the discretion of the IRS, be granted if the IRS determines that an extension of time is warranted based on an explanation attached to Form 8809. The IRS anticipates that it will grant this non-automatic extension of time in limited instances, when the explanation demonstrates that an extension of time is needed because of “extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe, such as a natural disaster or fire destroying the books and records” needed to file the information returns.

The temporary regulations also update the list of information returns that are subject to these rules, and state that the IRS intends to remove the automatic 30-day extension of time to file these other forms, and replace it with a single non-automatic 30-day extension of time provision.

The proposed regulations apply the non-automatic 30-day extension of time to file rule to other information returns (e.g., Forms 1099 and 1042-S) but the rule would not be effective any earlier than the 2018 filing season.

Comments are requested on the appropriate timing of the removal of the automatic extension of time to file information returns provision, and whether special transitional rules may be appropriate.

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