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2D or not 2D, That is the Question

2D or not 2D, That is the Question

It is true that the Social Security Administration (SSA) released standards this year for printing 2D barcodes on Forms W-2 and W-3. It is also true that the IRS released alternative versions of Forms W-2 and W-3 to support the 2D barcode. So why might you receive a W-2 from a taxpayer with no 2D barcode? Here are 2 reasons why:

1. The only copy of Form W-2 that was specifically revised by the IRS to support a 2D barcode was Copy A, the copy designated for the SSA. There were no specific guidelines released to address 2D barcode placement on the other copies (1, 2, B, C and D) of Form W-2.

2. Printing 2D barcodes on Form W-2 is not mandatory for 2010. Therefore, it is possible that companies are waiting until it is mandatory to support them, which will likely be 2011.

In the Drake Write-Up program, we do support printing 2D barcodes on 2010 Forms W-2 and W-3. In addition, due to IRS guidelines being somewhat flexible in the dimensions of copies furnished to employees, we also developed alternative versions of Form W-2 Copy B(employee’s federal tax return) and Copy C(employee’s records) to support printing a 2D barcode.

When 2011 rolls around, I suspect industry will push for IRS to publish specific guidelines related to 2D barcode placement on the other copies of Form W-2, so have your scanners ready.

To see a demonstration of the Scanner click here.

Posted by Brian Stork
VP of Application Development
Drake Software

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The Taxing Subjects staff is proud to cover the latest in tax-industry-related news, from tax law and IRS updates to technology and business strategies. If you have questions about an article or just want to reach out to the Taxing Subjects staff, email comments@taxingsubjects.com.

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