Every year around tax time employers send out W-2 tax forms to employees so that the employees can file their income taxes. The process is fairly straightforward in most cases. Employees receive their W-2 from their employer, file their taxes and either pay what they owe or receive a refund.
In most cases it is unnecessary for an employer to cut more than one W-2 for an employee, but in certain instances it may need to be done. Small business owners should be aware of these instances so that they can be prepared to assist employees, whenever necessary, and keep accurate records compliant with labor laws.
Multiple W-2s Not Recommended
For the most part, it is not recommended that you issue more than one W-2 to an employee. Employers that cut multiple W-2s run the risk of recording errors from one W-2 to the next. Another reason it is normally not necessary to issue ore than one W-2 is the fact that the form is meant to be a summary of what an employee earned throughout the course of the year working for the employer. Even if the employee worked for the same employer twice, the income can be totaled and included as just figure on a single W-2 form.
Working in Multiple Locations
One of the primary exceptions to the basic reporting of W-2s occurs when an employee works for an employer in more than one location or capacity. For instance, a government worker who works part-time for the local city government on behalf of both the city and the school may receive one W-2 for each of his two jobs. Adjunct professors who teach for state universities are paid by the state, in some states, but receive W-2 forms from each school at which they teach.
Reissued Statement W-2
Employers may cut a second W-2 form for an employee who has lost the first form that he was issued also. If the W-2 has been issued for this purpose, the Internal Revenue Service requires that the employer write or print "REISSUED STATEMENT" on the form.
If the statement is reissued electronically, this is not necessary. Employers do not have to send a second copy to the IRS if the statement is reissued. They can also charge employees a fee, if they choose to do so, according to the IRS.
Agent Reporting Rules
If an agent reports on behalf of someone he represents, he may need to issue more than one W-2. The IRS notes that an agent working in this capacity places his own name in the employer box and normally cuts only one W-2 for his client. However, if the agent acts on behalf of more than one employer or is himself an employer and acts on behalf of another employer, he may need to file a W-2 on behalf of his client/employee for each employer. Whether or not this is the case depends upon the amount earned while working for each.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.