Do Businesses File W2 Forms With The State?


Do employers file w2 forms with the state? Do you practice that? You already know that you must send a W-2 to your employees and the IRS. But do you also need to file W-2 forms with your state? The answer is maybe. Whether you need to file a state W-2 form and when it needs to happen depends on where your employees live. Why? Because each state has a specific income tax filing system built by the state legislature.
Are you compliant with your state's rules? Keep reading to learn more.

Also read: Do You Need Multiple W2 Forms From The Same Employer?


Why Not All States Require You to File W-2 Forms

Form W-2 is an IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) form. It meets the obligations for reporting employee income to the federal government. But it doesn't always handle state tax obligations, even though you may report state taxes on them. When you look at whether you need to file a W-2 with your state, you will see there are three categories of states:

  1. States that accept W-2s
  2. States with a unique non-W-2 form
  3. States that don't have income tax

Many of the states that accept W-2s also require you to file a state-specific non-W-2 reporting form as well. Let's start with the third category because it's the simplest: states that don't collect income tax.


Does Your State Collect Income Tax?

Nine U.S. states don't collect personal income tax. As a result, you don't need to file a W-2 with the state. After all, if it doesn't tax your employees, it doesn't need a tax form. The states with no income tax include:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Keep in mind that while Tennessee and New Hampshire don't collect income tax, they do collect tax on some dividens and interest. How do those states collect money if they don't use the income tax system? Many have sky-high property and sales tax rates to compensate.

Also read: The Complete Checklist To Prepare For The W2 Form Deadline


How To File A State W-2

The other 41 states fall into the first two categories: states that use the W-2 and states that don't. Either way, you need to file a form of some type. Keep in mind that the vast majority of states require you to file both the W-2 form and the state form.

Also read: What are the Secure Electronic Delivery Methods Of W2 and 1099 Forms?​​​​​​​


Where & When You Need to File a State W-2

Let's start with states that use the W-2 system. The following list includes states that use the IRS Form W-2 and the due date at the time of publication:

  • Alabama - January 31
  • Arizona - January 31
  • Arkansas - February 28 or 29
  • Colorado - January 31
  • Connecticut - January 31 (e-filing is mandatory)
  • Delaware - January 31
  • D.C. - January 31
  • Georgia - February 28 or 29
  • Hawaii - February 28 or 29
  • Idaho - January 31
  • Illinois - January 31 (e-filing is mandatory)
  • Indiana - January 31
  • Iowa - January 31
  • Kansas - January 31
  • Kentucky - January 31
  • Louisiana - January 31
  • Maine -January 31
  • Maryland - January 31
  • Massachusetts - January 31
  • Michigan - February 28 or 29

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  • Minnesota - January 31
  • Mississippi -January 31
  • Missouri - January 31
  • Montana - January 31
  • Nebraska - January 31
  • New Jersey - February 28 or 29
  • North Carolina - January 31
  • North Dakota - January 31
  • Ohio - January 31
  • Oklahoma - January 31
  • Oregon - January 31
  • Pennsylvania - January 31
  • Rhode Island - January 31
  • South Carolina - January 31
  • Utah - January 31
  • Vermont - January 31
  • Virginia - January 31
  • West Virginia - January 31
  • Wisconsin -January 31

In all these cases, you not only need to file a W-2 but also the state's year-end (or quarterly) reconciliation form. Both forms are due on the same date.

Also read: Here’s How to Change Your W2 Wage


Where & How to Use State-Specific Tax Forms (in Addition to Your W-2s)

As you can see, the vast majority of states require W-2 filing. The only exceptions are the nine states that don't collect income tax and the states of New York and California. Here is the list of forms you need to file in each state either along with W-2s (or on their own in the cases of California and New York). In most cases, the W-2 date and the state form date are the same, usually either January 31 or the last day of February.
In cases where the state doesn't use a year-end reconciliation form and requires quarterly filings, the entry is marked as quarterly. Keep in mind that even if the state uses a quarterly reconciliation, you still need to file a W-2 by the deadline indicated in the list above.

  • Alabama - Form A-3
  • Arizona - Form A1-R
  • Arkansas - Form AR-3MAR
  • California - DE 9 (quarterly)
  • Colorado - Form DR-1093
  • Connecticut - Form CT-W3
  • Delaware - Form W-3
  • D.C. - Form FR-900Q (quarterly)
  • Georgia - Form G-1003
  • Hawaii - Form HW-3
  • Idaho - Form ID-967
  • Illinois - Form IL-941 (quarterly)
  • Indiana - Form WH-3
  • Iowa - Iowa Withholding Annual Verified Summary of Payments Report
  • Kansas - KW-3
  • Kentucky - Form K-5
  • Lousiana - Form L-3
  • Maine - Form W-3ME
  • Maryland - Form MW-508
  • Massachusetts - Form M-3
  • Michigan - Form 165
  • Minnesota - Form 941 (quarterly)
  • Mississippi - Form 89-140
  • Missouri - Form MO W-4
  • Montana - Form MW-3
  • Nebraska - Form W-3N
  • New Jersey - Form NJ-W-3M
  • New Mexico - Form CRS-1
  • New York - Form NY-45 (quarterly)
  • North Carolina - Form NC-3
  • North Dakota - Form 307
  • Ohio - Form IT-3
  • Oklahoma - WTH10001 (quarterly)
  • Oregon - Form OR-WR
  • Pennsylvania - Form REV-1667
  • Rhode Island - Form RI-W3
  • South Carolina - Form WH-1606
  • Utah - Form TC-941E
  • Vermont - Form WHT-434
  • Virginia - Form VA-6
  • West Virginia - Form IT-103
  • Wisconsin - Form WT-7

For more information and filing instructions, visit your state's Department of Revenue website.


Are There Penalties For Late Filing?

The IRS charges penalties when you file your employer W-2s late, usually assessing a minimum of $50 per late form with fees escalating as time goes on. Each state handles late filing differently. If your late filing also leads to a late payment, then you not only pay penalties but also interest. Talk to a CPA or tax accountant if you have already or intend to file your W-2s late.


W-2s Made Easy

You typically need to file three copies of the W-2 for each employee: one with the IRS, one with the employee, and a third with the state. The only exceptions are in the states that don't assess income tax including California and New York. Most states also have dedicated year-end or quarterly reconciliation forms that you also need to file.
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Do Businesses File W2 Forms With The State?
Samantha Clark

A Warrington College of Business graduate, Samantha handles all client relations with our top-tier partners. Read More

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