Greatland’s Top DOs & DON'Ts for Paper Filing of W-2 Forms

Find out all the do's and don'ts of filing paper W-2 forms


• Do type or print entries with black ink only
• Do use 12-point Courier font
• Do make sure all copies are readable
• Do include the decimal points (i.e. cents) in the monetary entries (0000.00)
• Do leave a box blank if it doesn’t apply
• Do file forms alphabetically by employees’ last names or numerically by Social Security Number (SSN)
• Do send the whole Copy A page of Form W-2 with Form W-3 to the Social Security Administration, even if one of the Forms W-2 on the sheet is blank or void
• Do send Copy A of Form W-2c with Form W-3c to the Social Security Administration
• Do use pre-printed red drop-out ink forms or approved laser-generated substitute forms when filing with the Social Security Administration
• Do print all other copies of Form W-2 on perforated paper


• Don’t complete w2 forms by hand
• Don’t use script or italics fonts or colors other than black, as it cannot be read by machines
• Don’t use a font that is too small or too large - 12-point Courier font is recommended
• Don’t use dollar signs or commas in the monetary entries on Copy A
• Don’t inappropriately check the “Retirement plan” box 13
• Don’t incorrectly fill box e - employee’s name on Form W-2. The correct format is to enter the employee’s first name and middle initial in the first box, the last name in the second box, and the suffix (optional) in the third box
• Don’t leave a box blank if you are correcting a monetary amount on Form W-2c; enter a “0” if a monetary entry shows a change and one of the amounts is zero
• Don’t staple or tape any forms; staples, tears or tape may interfere with machine reading
• Don’t fold any forms; send the forms to the Social Security Administration in a flat mailing

About the Author

GreatlandGreatland ( is the W-2 & 1099 specialist, focused on providing guidance, products, and solutions for small to mid-size businesses and accountants. Through Greatland Corporation's subsidiaries – Greatland, Nelco, and Broker Forms – the company offers an extensive array of specialized products for business: W-2 forms, 1099 forms, W-2 & 1099 software, online filing, business checks and check writing software, presentation materials, income tax preparation supplies and software, and mortgage forms. Greatland is an employee-owned company with locations in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Green Bay, Wis. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @GreatlandCorp