IRS Offers Help for Completing Forms

Hotline provides assistance with W-2, 1099s, and other documents.

The IRS operates a centralized call site to answer questions about reporting information on W-2, W-3, 1099, or 1096 forms. If you have any questions about completing these forms, call the IRS at 1-866-455-7438, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Accuracy with these forms is critical.

For instance, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is urging employers to be sure that amounts reported on Form W-3 correspond to amounts reported on quarterly 941 forms. The SSA also has noted that the main reason that W-2 forms are rejected is the use of incorrect Social Security Numbers. Churches can verify the accuracy of Social Security Numbers of up to ten employees on the SSA website ( Up to five Social Security Numbers can be verified by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-6270 or 1-800-772-1213.

In addition, the IRS says discrepancies between amounts reported on Forms W-2, W-3, and Form 941 are a common, but avoidable, problem. The IRS provides the following suggestions to avoid these discrepancies:

  • First, be sure the amounts on Form W-3 are the total amounts from Forms W-2.
  • Second, reconcile Form W-3 with your four quarterly Forms 941 by comparing amounts reported for:
    • (1) Income tax withholding (box 2);
    • (2) Social Security and Medicare wages (boxes 3, 5, and 7);
    • (3) Social Security and Medicare taxes (boxes 4 and 6).

Amounts reported on Forms W-2, W-3, and 941 may not match for valid reasons. If they do not match, you should confirm that the reasons are valid.

Common Mistakes

What are the most common errors the IRS finds on W-2 forms? Here are four:

  • Using ink that is too faint;
  • Providing entries that are too small;
  • Adding dollar signs to dollar amounts (they are not required); and,
  • Checking the “retirement plan” box when not applicable.

For more help with annual tax filing, order Richard Hammar’s annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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