How to Fill Out a W3 Form

A Form W-3 must accompany the W-2s to the SSA.
A Form W-3 must accompany the W-2s to the SSA. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

An employer reports employee wages to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by submitting Copy A of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2. He also must submit a corresponding IRS Form W-3, or Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements. The W-3 asks for much of the same information found on a W-2, but with some additional questions about the employer and the number of W-2 forms being transmitted. These two forms can be filed electronically through the SSA's Business Services Online website, or filled out and mailed to the SSA. The paper version may not be filled in by hand but must be typed in black ink, using 12-point Courier font when possible.

Things You'll Need

  • IRS Form W-2 and W-3
  • Any other wage-reporting forms related to the employee

Completion of IRS W-3 form

Check the W-3 to be sure the payer's name and employer identification number match the information supplied on the employer's annual or quarterly tax return.

Fill out total wage and tax information from all of the W-2s, total number of W-2 forms, and Employer Identification Number. The "establishment number" box applies to businesses with separate establishments under one entity. All information must match what you have entered on Form W-2 and other wage-reporting forms.

Check the appropriate box in Section B to indicate what type of employer you are. Some examples are military, government, and household.

Copying and Mailing

Make a copy of the W-3 for your records. Keep each with Copy D of the corresponding W-2 for four years.

Mail the paper form to the SSA, with Copy A of Form W-2, by March 1. The mailing address is listed on the Form W-3. If filing electronically, do so by March 31.

See page 8 of the instructions for Form W-3 for information on penalties for a W-3 that is filed late.

Tips & Warnings

  • For assistance, call the Internal Revenue Service's Information Reporting Customer Service line at 1-866-455-7438. The IRS also offers a TTY/TDD-capable line for the hearing-impaired: 304-267-3367.
  • Fill out the form in ink dark enough to be picked up by scanners; each return that cannot be read by the scanner is subject to a fine of $50.

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