IRS to Stop Sending W-2 Verification Codes
Form W-2 Reporting Deadline Moved to January 31
The Internal Revenue Service on Friday announced that it is ending the Form W-2 Verification Code pilot program. According to the release, the agency will not send the code for tax year 2019 returns.
Since 2015, Security Summit partners have taken steps to address the growing threat of tax-related identity theft, and the Form W-2 Verification Code was one of the earliest voluntary programs implemented by summit partners. The IRS said implementation of the code “marked an unprecedented cooperative effort between payroll service providers, employers, tax software providers, tax professionals, the Social Security Administration, and the IRS.”
The W-2 verification code was 16 digits long, and it was used when e-filing a tax return. Tax professionals and DIY filers would input the code in box 9 on Form W-2 before sending it to the IRS. Since it is unlikely that scammers would have access to the code, it was used to identify fraudulent W-2 information. As a voluntary program, the verification code would have only been used by a fraction of taxpayers.
The IRS said it is ending the verification code pilot program because federal regulations now stipulate that January 31 is the annual W-2 reporting deadline—two months earlier than in previous years. Since the IRS will have verified Forms W-2 on file at the beginning of filing season, there is no reason to verify late-season submissions with a specially-generated code.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide the IRS with more time to stop scammers from successfully filing fraudulent tax returns using fake W-2 information.
Source: “W-2 Verification Code”