(a)(1) In general. Wages, as defined in section 3401, paid to an employee are required to be reported on Form W-2. See section 6011 and the Employment Tax Regulations thereunder. All other payments of compensation, including the cash value of payments made in any medium other than cash, to an employee by his employer in the course of the trade or business of the employer must also be reported on Form W-2 if the total of such payments and the amount of the employee's wages (as defined in section 3401), if any, required to be reported on Form W-2 aggregates $600 or more in a calendar year. For example, if a payment of $700 was made to an employee and $400 thereof represents wages subject to withholding under section 3402 and the remaining $300 represents compensation not subject to withholding, such wages and compensation must both be reported on Form W-2. A separate Form W-2 shall be furnished for each employee for whom a return must be made. At the election of the employer, components of amounts required to be reported on Form W-2 pursuant to the provisions of this subparagraph may be reported on more than one Form W-2.
(2) Transmittal form. The transmittal form for a return on Form W-2 made pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall be Form W-3. In a case where an employer must file a Form W-3 under this paragraph and also under § 31.6011(a)-4 or § 31.6011(a)-5 of this chapter (Employment Tax Regulations), the Form W-3 filed under such § 31.6011(a)-4 or § 31.6011(a)-5 shall also be used as the transmittal form for a return on Form W-2 made pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph.
(3) Time for filing - (i) General rule. In a case where an employer must file Forms W-3 and W-2 under this paragraph and also under § 31.6011(a)-4 or § 31.6011(a)-5 of this chapter (Employment Tax Regulations), the time for filing such forms under this paragraph shall be the same as the time (including extensions thereof) for filing such forms under § 31.6011(a)-4 or § 31.6011(a)-5.
(ii) Exception. In a case where an employer is not required to file Forms W-3 and W-2 under § 31.6011(a)-4 or § 31.6011(a)-5 of this chapter, returns on Forms W-3 and W-2 required under this paragraph (a) for any calendar year shall be filed on or before January 31 of the following year.
(iii) Cross reference. For extensions of time for filing returns, see section 6081 and the regulations thereunder.
(4) Place for filing. The returns on Forms W-3 and W-2 required under this paragraph shall be filed pursuant to the rules contained in § 31.6091-1 of this chapter (Employment Tax Regulations), relating to the place for filing certain returns.
(5) Statement for employees. An employer required under this paragraph (a) to file Form W-2 with respect to an employee is also required under sections 6041(d) and 6051 to furnish a written statement to the employee. This written statement must be furnished on Form W-2 in accordance with section 6051 and the regulations.
(b) Distributions under employees' trust or plan. (1) Amounts which are:
(i) Distributed or made available to a beneficiary, and to which section 402 (relating to employees' trusts) or section 403 (relating to employee annuity plans) applies, or
(ii) Described in section 72(m)(3)(B), shall be reported on Forms 1096 and 1099 to the extent such amounts are includible in the gross income of such beneficiary if the amounts so includible aggregate $600 or more in any calendar year. In addition, every trust described in section 501(c)(17) which makes one or more payments (including separation and sick and accident benefits) totaling $600 or more in 1 year to an individual must file an annual information return on Form 1096, accompanied by a statement on Form 1099, for each such individual. Payments made by an employer or a person other than the trustee of the trust should not be considered in determining whether the $600 minimum has been paid by the trustee. The provisions of this subparagraph shall not be applicable to payments of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits made after December 31, 1970, which are treated as if they were wages for purposes of section 3401(a). Such amounts are required to be reported on Forms W-3 and W-2. See paragraph (b)(14) of § 31.3401(a)-1 of this chapter (Employment Tax Regulations).
(2) Any amount with respect to which a statement is required by § 1.6047-1, relating to employee retirement plans covering owner-employees, shall not be included in amounts required to be reported under section 6041.
(c) Payments to foreign persons. See § 1.6041-4 for reporting exemptions regarding payments to foreign persons. See § 1.6049-5(d) for determining whether a payment is made to a foreign person.
(d) Applicability date. This section applies to returns filed on or after January 30, 2020. Section 1.6041-2T (as contained in 26 CFR part 1, revised April 2019) applies to returns filed before January 30, 2020.
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