What Is Form W-3?

Irmak Kocyildiz

Irmak Kocyildiz

12 min read


What Is Form W-3?

What Is Form W-3?

You fill out or receive many different forms throughout the year. So what is one of these forms, IRS Form W-3, what is it for and where is it sent? Let’s talk about these a little bit. If you are an employer or business, what Form W-3 is may be important to you. Because if you are an employer, within a year, you pay wages and tax cuts for your employees. You must report these payments. Form W-3 allows the transfer of wages and tax returns. In this article, we will talk about your curiosity about W-3 in detail and guide you.

  • What Is Form W-3?
  • Who Should File Form W-3?
  • When Should Form W-3 Be Sent?
  • How To File Form W-3?
  • Form W-3c For Corrections
  • How To Fill In Form W-3?

What is Form W-3?

As can be understood from the legal name of the form, the W-3 Form is a form that provides the transfer of wages and tax returns in the clearest sense. It is a document that enables an employer to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the wages, tips and tax deductions paid to its employees throughout the year. The employer must file this form.

Employers fill out a number of forms at the end of each tax year. If you are an employer and have employees, you must complete Form W-2 within a tax year. If you have paid your employees $ 600 or more for their services, you must complete a form W-2. These payments can be salary or any income tax deductions, Medicare tax deductions or social security tax deductions. Every employer who filled out the W-2 Form must fill in Form W-3 that is a summary of this form and send it to the Social Security Administration. W-2 Form is filled out separately for each employee. This form displays salary or wage information for a single employee. However, with Form W-3, you can report the wage and tax deductions of all your total employees. So, for this form, we can call it the summary form of W-2. W-3 is a form that accompanies the W-2 form. It collects all the data on the W-2 form.

So, if you are an employer, you must send the A copy of Form W-2 and Form W-3 together to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Of course, like any other IRS form, this form has a deadline to submit. The form is filed annually. If you are an employer and have filed a Form W-2 for your employees, you must also file Form W-3. So, when you send the A copy of Form W-2 to SSA, you must also send Form W-3.

On Form W-3, you can report the following payments to all your employees during a tax year:

  • Salary and tip payments
  • Income taxes
  • Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes. So Social Security and Medicare.

Employers can access the W-3 Form on the IRS’s official website.

Let’s talk about what information you need when filling out the W-3 form. The W-3 form contains the total of the information on the W-2 form. Form W-3 reports employee wages, income taxes and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Legal Tax) taxes paid by the employer. FICA taxes finance social security and Medicare. Thus, these tax deductions are also reported. You will need this information when completing the form. In addition, when filling out the form, you must enter your employer identification number (EIN), legal address and contact information.

Who Should File Form W-3?

There are several forms that employers must file. Form W-3 is one of them. Employers who pay wages to their employees must file Form W-3. Each employer filed Form W-2 must file Form W-3. You need to send Form W-3 to the Social Security Administration (SSA) along with the A copy of Form W-2. Employers thus report all the wages and tax deductions they have made.

As we mentioned above, if you have made wages and tax deductions to your employees, you should send Form W-3. So what form do you need to submit if you’ve paid an independent contractor? You may be confused here. If you have paid independent contractors $ 600 or more in a tax year, you must fill an IRS Form 1099-NEC. You must send this form electronically or on paper by 31 January at the latest. If you are going to submit this form on paper, you must submit a Form 1096 with this form. If you will send Form 1099 electronically, you do not need to use Form 1096. You should not staple these forms together. You can order forms or buy them from office supplies. So if you have paid independent contractors, the form you should submit is different. That is, for Form 1099-NEC, you must submit Form 1096. Here you need to know the difference between an independent contractor and an employee.

When Should Form W-3 Be Sent?

The deadline for submitting Form W-3 is January 31st. For example, for the wage and tax deductions you pay your employees in 2020, you must notify SSA until 31 January 2021. The same date applies to the electronic route and the postal route.

So how should you file it? Let’s talk about this a little bit.

How To File Form W-3?

If you are an employer, you must send the salary and tax deductions you pay to all your employees as a single document to SSA with Form W-3 by 31 January. You must file with Copy A of Form W-2. How do you submit these forms? You can file the W-3 Forms electronically or by post. The Social Security Administration (SSA) encourages it to be sent electronically. The deadline for submitting the form is the same for sending both electronically and by mail.

If you want to send the form electronically, you can do it from the website of the Social Security Administration (SSA). For this, you must first register with the Business Services Online (BSO) on the website of the Social Security Administration. So you can file your form online. E-filing may be the faster method for you.

There is a situation where electronic filing is mandatory. If you are an employer and are filing 250 or more Form W-2, you must submit the form online, unless the IRS waives it.

Another alternative to filing is to send by mail. However, the Form is printed in special red ink. You cannot download and fill the form. Therefore, to file, you must first order or purchase the Form. Photocopies are not accepted. Do not file Form W-3 alone. You must submit the Form W-3 with the A copy of the W-2 form. Additionally, if you want to submit these forms on paper, you should not staple them together. Remember to fill out the W-3 form even if you only filled out one W-2. So if you want to send it on paper, be sure to order the W-3 form when you order the W-2 form. If you want to file the paper forms, it is stated in the instructions under IRS Form W-3 where you should send them. Address to be filed:

Social Security Administration

Direct Operations Center

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001

Also, keep a copy of the W-3 forms. The IRS recommends that copies of these forms should be kept for four years.

Employers can find SSA’s checklist on their official website, which can help them file the form.

Form W-3c For Corrections

When submitting a form to SSA, if you have filed incorrectly, there is a way to fix it. After submitting Form W-3, if you find that you made a mistake, you should submit Form W-3c to correct the mistakes. Form W-3c provides for the transfer of corrected wage and tax returns. Additionally, if you notice that you have made an error after submitting Form W-2 to SSA, you must send the corrected Form W-2c. If this affects W-3, you must send Form W-3c to SSA every time you submit Form W-2c. Employers can access Form W-3c to correct errors from the IRS website.

In short, every employer submitting Form W-2 must file the W-3 form as well. This form provides an overview of the W-2 form. So, for the W-3 form, we can call it a summary form. These two forms are very similar to each other. Often they report the same information. It can be said that the W-3 form is the total of all the information in the W-2 form. It summarizes the wages, withholding taxes, ie income tax, FICA tax, social security and Medicare taxes, that the employer pays during a tax year.

How To Fill In Form W-3?

In this section, you will learn brief information about the boxes in Form W-3. This can help you better understand Form W-3. First of all, Form W-3 has boxes from a to h first. Then there are 1 to 19 boxes. The last part is where you enter the employer’s contact information.

Box-a: It is a box where you indicate the control number. It is filled on request.

Box-b: In this box, the following are selected.

  • Payer type,
  • Employer type. Here you only need to select one box. If you want to select more than one type, submit with separate Form W-3 for each type.

For the payer type:

  • 941: If you are filing form 941, you should check this box. Usually, private sector employers choose this box.
  • Military: Tick the military box if you are a military employer.
  • 943: Agricultural employers should choose this box.
  • 944: You must select this box if you are filing form 944.
  • CT-1: Railway employers should choose this box.
  • Hshld. emp.: Select this box if you are a home employer.
  • Medicare govt. emp.: Government employers.

In the employer type, there are non-profit organizations and federal and state government agencies.

Box-c: It is the box indicating the total number of forms.

Box-d: It is the box informing the organization number. If you are an employer and have different organizations, there is this box to identify this.

Box-e: In this box, you write down your employer identification number (EIN). It is assigned by the IRS.

Box-f: It is the box where the employer’s name is indicated.

Box-g: The employer address and ZIP code are written in this box.

Box-h: The other EIN code you used this year is written.

After this section, boxes 1-19 are the same as the information in the W-2 form. However, you have to provide total information for all your employees on the W-3 form. W-3 contains total information. The last part of the form is where employer contact information is entered.


As a result, Employers must fill out A copy of Form W-2 and send it to the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year to inform their employees of the wage and tax deductions they have paid for the previous tax year. If you are an employer, you probably know this information. You should also send a copy of the W-2 to your employees. In fact, you may have wondered why I mentioned so many W-2 forms. Because the W-2 and W-3 forms are interconnected. Because if you are an employer and you are sending the W-2 form to the Social Security Administration, you must also send the W-3 form. Send these forms together to the Social Security Administration. You can send it by e-filing or by mail on paper. As mentioned above, If employers fill less than 250 forms and wish to fill in paper forms, they can send these forms by post. As a tip, we can tell you that sending online with Business Services Online (BSO) may be more convenient and faster for you. Also, you should not forget the deadlines. Submit W-3 to SSA by January 31st. For example, if you want to notify. SSA of your employee wage payments and tax deductions for the year 2020, you must notify the SSA by 31 January 2021 at the latest. In short, if you are an employer, forms are important to you. The important thing is that you know which form to complete and submit on time.

*This document should not be assumed as a legal advice. These informations may always change, please contact with our team of attorneys to confirm.









Irmak Kocyildiz
Written by Irmak Kocyildiz

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