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