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5 Tips for Electronic Delivery of 1099 or W-2 Forms

Utility bills, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance notifications … these used to be delivered to you via USPS. Many of these forms are now e-delivered.

In contrast, many tax forms are still delivered by mail. Some larger companies use employee portals to deliver 1099 and W-2 forms. What options do smaller companies have for secure electronic delivery? Initiating an electronic delivery system is easier than you might think. Here are a few tips:

1. Collect e-delivery opt-in permissions from vendors.
IRS publication 1179 provides specific instructions to request consent from recipients. The deadline for delivering forms to recipients is January 31st. The deadline is the same, whether you delivery via mail or through e-delivery. Make sure you have records of which vendors do not opt-in to the e-delivery. You will need to make arrangements for those vendors to receive their forms via mail.

2. Have a paper delivery system available as a backup.
If a recipient does not opt-in to e-delivery, you select Tax1099.com to USPS the form. You could also print the recipient copy from Tax1099.com. You can mail that copy to your recipient.

3. Ensure your portal has appropriate levels of security.
Each recipient’s information should be password-protected within the portal. Security is a must – 128-bit or 256-bit bank-grade security would be best. The portal should encrypt all sensitive information. The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) should be masked on all recipient copies.

4. Let the recipient know how they can download their form.
Be sure to provide a link to a free download of Adobe PDF Reader, or another free PDF reader.

5. Make sure your recipients are aware of the dates the form is available.
The IRS requires the form to be available to the recipient from at least January 31 to October 15. If you’re using a portal service, check to see how long forms will be available.

A third-party provider who is familiar with all these rules can make your life much easier. When you select portal delivery through Tax1099.com, your vendors’ data will be secure. Tax1099.com uses 256-bit security, and encrypts sensitive data. You will also be able to: 
  • Track the opt-in status for all recipients
  • Provide appropriate portal verbiage to meet publication 1179 guidelines
  • Offer USPS mail for vendors who do not opt-in.

To get started, visit Tax1099.com.