Forms W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmittal Program
Payroll programs and services are available for purchase from third-party vendors which will automate this process for you. If you choose to submit your file through third-party software or services, you do not need to read the following technical instructions for transmission. However, some third-party software or services will only create the file to transmit but do not transmit it for you. In these cases, you must register and transmit the file yourself.
W-2s or W-2cs Transmittal Program
- Register – Obtain your W-2 transmitter ID and test and production passwords. Click here to register as a W-2 Transmitter. Note: If you are using a third-party service or program you may not need to register to transmit. Check with your payroll service or software program to see if it includes W-2 file transmission.
- Create your file to transmit. Develop the file following the Social Security Administration’s Publication No. 42-007, Specifications for Filing Forms W-2 Electronically,and the additional Illinois requirements in our Form W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmission Guide (Important: PDF files or spreadsheet files, such as Excel, are not accepted.)
- Choose your method of transmitting the file to Illinois.
- Transmission option 2: web file upload – Logon to this secure online application using your web browser, enter your W-2 transmitter ID and password, browse for your W-2 file, and select the file to upload it. This method does not require any software download or programming. (Please see page 3 of the Form W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmission Guide for additional information.)
- Transmit your file.
You must transmit both test and production data.
- Test data – We will begin accepting test transmissions of the current year’s W-2 data on November 1. When online registration was completed, a W-2 transmitter ID, test password, and production password were provided to you. Use the test password to transmit your test file to IDOR. Any information transmitted using the test password will be treated as test data and is not considered “live” data. To obtain your test results, you must reenter the system at least 30 minutes after your transmission to retrieve the message (see “Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement” below).
- Production data – Transmit your production data with the same transmittal method used in your successful test transmission. Use the production password provided to you during registration. To obtain your transmission results, you must reenter the system at least 30 minutes after your transmission to retrieve the message (see “Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement” below).
- Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement* (proof of filing)
*Important note about proof of filing: You must retrieve your transmission acknowledgement within 60 days. The Illinois Department of Revenue will not send the acknowledgement to you. Your filing requirements are not met until you receive an “Accepted” transmission acknowledgement from Illinois.
Do not transmit 2017 W-2 data prior to January 2, 2018. Prior year W-2 or W-2c files can be transmitted at any time.
For calendar years 2017 and forward, W-2s must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue no later than January 31 of the year following the year of the withholding.
For 2018, the 2017 W-2s are due on or before January 31, 2018. Any time a due date falls on a weekend or state recognized holiday, we adjust the due date to the next business day.
Businesses that make a reasonable and good faith effort to comply with the deadline will not be penalized.
General record-keeping requirements
You must maintain employee Forms W-2, W-2c, W-2-G, 1099 series, or other withholding tax records for a period of three years from the due date or payment date, whichever is later.