Printable 1099 and W-2 Tax Forms
You can download any 1099 tax form from the IRS website. This first page of the form goes out of the way to say
“Do not file copy A downloaded from this website. The official printed version of this IRS form is scannable, but the online version of it, printed from this website, is not. A penalty may be imposed for filing forms that can’t be scanned.”
There are a few key points to take from this paragraph:
1. Copy A is a red-ink form. It is a special red-ink. If you try to print Copy A with store bought red-ink, its not the same type of red-ink that the IRS uses to print out the 1099 forms. The IRS is asking you to not print Copy A and try to submit because store-bought red-ink forms will not scan correctly.
2. You can print Copy B or C to plain paper with black ink. Copy B and C is the payee and payer copies. You don’t even have to print and mail Copy B to the recipient. You can convert to PDF and email or just print it out and hand the form to the recipient.
Form W-2 is different. While Form W-2 is developed by the IRS, you paper or electronically file with the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA developed substitute Copy A forms for the W-2. Software developers will receive a PDF of the substitute W-2, W-3, W-2C and W-3C forms in June or July. Then can build those substitute forms into their software application and then mail the forms to SSA for review. SSA will test to see if the forms will align with their scanners. If they do, then that software developer will receive a letter of approval letting them know that their substitute forms can be read by SSA scanner equipment. You receive on letter of approval for the W-2, W-3 forms and another for the W-2C, W-3C forms.
An employer can print Copy A of a substitute Form W-2 on plain paper with black ink. Its a great feature and service offered by SSA.