2016 W-3 Form

The W-3 Form (2016), also known as the Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, is an essential document that accompanies the W-2 Forms filed by employers to report employee wages and federal income tax withheld. It serves as a summary of the individual W-2 forms and provides important information to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).


The primary purpose of the W-3 Form is to facilitate the accurate reporting of employee wages and tax information to the federal government. Employers are required by law to submit this form along with the corresponding W-2 Forms, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations. It aids in verifying the accuracy of employee earnings, ensuring the proper calculation of taxes, and facilitating the reconciliation process between employer and government records.

Filing and Due Date:

Employers must file the W-3 Form with the SSA, either by mail or electronically, by the last day of January following the end of the tax year. For example, the W-3 Form for the 2016 tax year must be filed no later than January 31, 2017. It is important to note that employers are also required to provide a copy of the W-2 Form to each employee by January 31st.

Information Included:

The W-3 Form requires specific information from employers, including their employer identification number (EIN), the total number of W-2 Forms filed, and the total wages, tips, and other compensation paid to employees. Additionally, the form prompts employers to provide details about federal income tax withheld, Social Security wages, Social Security tax withheld, Medicare wages, and Medicare tax withheld during the tax year.

Understanding the W-3 Form:

Employers may encounter several fields and codes on the W-3 Form that require careful consideration. It is crucial to accurately complete each section to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties. Employers should refer to the official instructions provided by the IRS for comprehensive guidance. Seeking professional advice from certified accountants or tax professionals is highly recommended to ensure proper completion and submission of the form.

Electronic Filing Options:

While employers have the option to file the W-3 Form through mail, the IRS strongly recommends electronic filing. Electronic filing offers increased efficiency, reduces errors, and expedites the processing time. Employers can choose from several electronic filing methods, including the Social Security Administration’s Business Services Online (BSO) website, the e-file provider option, or using approved third-party software.

Penalties for Non-Compliance:

Failure to file or accurately complete the W-3 Form may result in penalties imposed by both the IRS and the SSA. Penalties can range from financial fines to potential legal consequences. To avoid penalties and ensure compliance, employers must diligently adhere to the necessary reporting requirements, submit forms by their respective due dates, and strive for accuracy in the information provided.

In conclusion, the W-3 Form (2016) plays a vital role in the accurate reporting of employee compensation and tax information to both the IRS and the SSA. It enables the government to verify wages earned and taxes paid, ensuring compliance with tax regulations. While completing and filing the W-3 Form may appear complex, referring to official instructions and seeking professional assistance can simplify the process, minimize errors, and mitigate potential penalties.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

Invoice Template image

Invoice Templates

Our collection of invoice templates provides businesses with a wide array of customizable, professional-grade documents that cater to diverse industries, simplifying the invoicing process and enabling streamlined financial management.
Estimate Template image

Estimate Templates

Streamline your billing process with our comprehensive collection of customizable estimate templates tailored to fit the unique needs of businesses across all industries.
Receipt Template image

Receipt Templates

Boost your organization's financial record-keeping with our diverse assortment of professionally-designed receipt templates, perfect for businesses of any industry.