Tax Problems Blog

September 1, 2017

IRS Tests W-2 Verification Code for Filing Season 2017

Filed under: IRS Levy and Tax News — Administrator @ 10:20 am

For filing season 2017, the Internal Revenue Service will expand an initiative to verify the authenticity of Form W-2 data. This initiative is one in a series of steps to combat tax-related identity theft and refund fraud.

The objective is to verify Form W-2 data submitted by taxpayers on e-filed individual tax returns. The IRS has partnered with certain Payroll Service Providers (PSPs) to include a 16-digit code and a new Verification Code field on a limited number of Form W-2 copies provided to employees.

Verification codes will appear on approximately 50 million Forms W-2 in 2017, up from the 2 million forms in 2016. Tax professionals are urged to look for “Verification Code” on W-2s because location will vary.

The code will be displayed in four groups of four alphanumeric characters, separated by hyphens. Example: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.

The Verification Code will appear on some versions of payroll firms’ Form W-2 copies B and C, in a separate, labeled box (Copy B is “To be filed with employee’s federal tax return” and Copy C is “For employee’s records.”)

The form will include these instructions to taxpayer and tax preparers: (link to IRS page)

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