How to Complete a W-3
Completing a W-3 is an essential task for small businesses with employees.
See the following step-by-step instructions for completing and filing a W-3.
A W-3 form is a summary of your W-2 forms.
The W-3 and copy A of all W-2s must be mailed to the Social Security Administration no later than the end of February…
or you can electronically file them. Social Security has a free electronic filing option available for small businesses that allows you to prepare and submit up to 20 W-2s. If you file electronically with them you have until March 31.
Notice that if you mail the W-3, you do not send it to the IRS. Instead, the Social Security Administration shares the W-3 and W-2 information with the IRS.
Step-by-Step instructions for completing a W-3 Form:
- Box a (control number) is optional. Usually smaller businesses do not use this box.
- Check how you pay your employment taxes in box b. Most small businesses pay on a Form 941 or Form 944.Important: The IRS has revised the W-3. They now require more information in box b. They want to know what kind of employer you are. According to the IRS W-3 instruction booklet most “for-profit” businesses will check the box “None apply”.
- Enter the total number of W-2s you are attaching in box c.
- Enter your EIN (Employer Identification Number) in box e.
- Enter your small business’s name and address in boxes f and g.
- Enter the totals for the corresponding boxes on your W-2s in boxes 1-14. For example, in box 1, you would enter the total of all of the number 1 boxes from all of the W-2s.
- Enter your state information in boxes 15 – 18.
- Sign the W-3
The W-3 and the Copy A of all W-2s must be sent to the Social Security Administration at:
Data Operations Center
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001
- Don’t staple or tape the Copy As of the W-2s to each other.
- Put them in alphabetically order by employee’s last name or numerically order by employee’s social security numbers.
- Also do not fold the W-3 or W-2 forms. Send them to the SSA in a large flat envelope.