How Far Back Can You Correct a W-2?

File a W-2C for the current year or as far back as three years. Correct your W-2s as soon as you find an error on a form. The Internal Revenue Service may issue fines varying in degree if you make mistakes on a W-2. Proving that the mistakes resulted from a reasonable cause may lessen the severity of the penalty. We outlined below how to fill out and submit Form W-2C:


  • Buy copies of the form. The version of Form W-2C on the IRS website is only for informational purposes. Buy the form directly from the IRS, an office supply store, or invest in tax software.
  • Identify the errors. The error dictates how you fill out a W-2C. Some common errors include: Making entries that are too large or too small, incorrectly formatting your employee’s name, and omitting or incorrectly entering a business EIN. File a W-3C form if you made the last mistake.
  • Know the errors that you should not correct. Do not fix the Federal Income Tax Withheld box if you withheld too much or too little for employee taxes. The IRS directly contacts the employee with a refund or requests money. Do not correct the Medicare Tax Withheld box if you withheld a wrong amount. Only file a W-2C for administrative errors like typos.
  • Submit a W-2C with a transmittal form. Send Form W-3C when you file W-2Cs to the SSA.


Our W-2/1099 Forms Filer software will assist you once you determine how far back you need to correct a W-2. Call us today at (405) 340-0697 if you have questions about generating forms.

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