Is it legal to email W-2 to Employees?

Is it legal to email W-2 forms? The short answer: no. The IRS does not reference email as a secure and legal way to distribute tax and wage forms. These forms, typically W-2 or 1099, can be delivered electronically via a payment portal, or mailed as hard copies to the employee. Let’s break down what you need to know about worker consent for tax form distribution, and how AMS can make this whole process easier for you.


Worker Consent for W-2 or 1099 Electronic Delivery

It is not legal to send a W-2 form electronically to an employee that has not consented to that delivery, or if the employee has revoked their consent. If an employee does not consent to an electronic delivery of their W-2 form, then you must inform them that they will receive a paper copy of the W-2 form. Manual delivery means the form will be mailed to the employee.

Sometimes, updates to company software can impact access to electronic W-2 forms. Employees must be informed if that software update includes changes to their tax form access. If you decide to change software, you must again receive consent from employees to provide W-2 forms electronically via the new software.


When Should You Distribute W-2 and 1099 Forms?

You must provide employees and independent contractors with their W-2 or 1099 forms, respectively, by January 31st of that tax year. This deadline is for both paper and electronic forms. Is it legal to email W-2 forms or 1099 forms? No. You follow the same distribution protocol for 1099 forms as you would for W-2 forms.

Most importantly, you must send the W-2 securely. Is it legal to email W-2? No, because that is not a secure portal for tax information even if your employee consents to an email delivery. AMS tax software gives your company an online payment portal to deliver W-2s electronically.

AMS Payroll Can Help With Form Distribution

When we talk about the question, “Is it legal to email W-2 forms?” We have to note: even if email was a legal avenue for tax forms, it would not be best suited for your needs. AMS Payroll can help with form distribution for all employees and contractors. Our Payroll software is a module that you can add on to the W-2 and 1099 Forms Filer, and it can change how you distribute end-of-year tax and wage forms.



AMS Payroll exports data to our W-2/1099 Forms Filer to produce year-end tax forms. This process is simple and takes nothing more than a few clicks. E-Filer will electronically file your company’s W-2 and 1099 forms to the IRS/SSA at the end of the tax year. The W-2/1099 Forms Filer supports W-2, W-3, and all 1099 forms.

AMS tax software will help you keep your company’s financial information secure and easily accessible. The tax season will be easier if you have the proper electronic avenue to distribute and file W-2 forms.

Software Solutions from AMS

Our W-2 and 1099 Forms Filer is our only required platform. From there, users pick the services they need. Choose from the tools below to build out your customized accounting software.