Can I print Copy A?
The IRS requires that Copy A be submitted on their
special paper if you submit less than 250 filings a year. On page 1 of
almost all information returns, the IRS has the following statement:
This form is provided for informational purposes only. Copy A appears in red, similar
to the official IRS form. 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 of $50 per information return may be imposed for filing
forms that cannot be scanned.
The special red-ink forms are scannable, but any Copy A printed on plain paper with black ink is not scannable and may be subject to penalty.
The software will print just the data on top of red-ink Copy A and you can align the data to print perfectly on Copy A. Copy B, C, 1 and 2 feel like tissue paper. Its very thin and modern laser printers will rip and tear the paper while trying to print. Copy B, C, 1 and 2 can be printed on plain paper with black ink.
W-2 and SSA
The W-2, W-3, W-2C and W-3C are different. A W-2 is sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and SSA gives vendors, like ourselves, the opportunity to submit laser substitute forms for review. If your substitute Copy A of the W-2 aligns with the SSA scanners, then you can print those substitute W-2 forms are on plain paper with black ink. In contrast, all 1096, 1098, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498 forms are submitted to the IRS and must be submitted on their red-ink forms. Or file electronically and you can skip the paper forms entirely.