Electronic Filing of W-2 Wage Statements and 1099 Information Returns

The filing deadline for W-2s and 1099s is February 15, 2021.

Businesses that issued W-2s or 1099s that contain Iowa withholding must electronically file those documents with the Iowa Department of Revenue. This data is an essential tool the Department uses to increase the accuracy of tax refunds and detect tax refund fraud during the current income tax filing season. If businesses did not withhold any Iowa taxes in 2020, filing is not required.

Who must file?

Note: VSPs are filed separately from W-2s and 1099s, and are due to the Department by February 15. 

New this year:

  • 1099-NEC is an accepted form for tax year 2020 and is required to be electronically filed if it contains Iowa tax withholding.


Webinar Recording: Electronic Filing of W-2s and 1099s for tax year 2020 (View slides as PDF)

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  • W-2 and 1099 File Upload Instructions
    Troubleshooting W-2 & 1099 Error Codes 
    Application For Extension of Time to File Iowa W-2s or 1099s

    W-2 Key & Send

    Business owners now have the option to manually enter their W-2 information in eFile & Pay. More information.

    W-2 and 1099 Filing Questions and Answers

    About W-2 and 1099 Filing
    Businesses are required to electronically file W-2s and 1099s containing Iowa tax withholding for the tax year. Employers may include W-2s and 1099s without Iowa withholding; however, they are not required.

    Was my File Accepted?
    Click the Download Results link after submitting your file to confirm if it was Accepted or Rejected.

    After clicking Download Results, a new window will open to confirm if your file was Accepted. If your upload was successful, the Results file will state "Accepted." Example:

    This entry means that Iowa accepted the filing for the 1st Employer with EIN 521132611 and issued a Confirmation Number of 6350200001. 

    Only files that show Accepted are received by the Department. If your Results do not show Accepted, then your file contains errors and needs corrected. If the upload was Rejected, refer to Troubleshooting W-2 and 1099 Errors for assistance with correcting your file.  

    How to File Corrected W-2s
    Option 1: Create and upload a new file with the corrected W-2s.
    Option 2: Use the W-2 Key & Send feature on eFile & Pay to submit the corrected W-2 information.
    *The Department will use the most recent uploaded file for data purposes and will discard duplicate submissions.

    How to File Corrected 1099s
    Create and upload a new file with the corrected 1099s
    *The Department will use the most recent uploaded file for data purposes and will discard duplicate submissions.

    Businesses Without Withholding Permits
    If you do not have Iowa tax withholding, you are not required to file W-2s or 1099s. Note: Businesses must register for a withholding permit if you are withholding Iowa taxes on behalf of employees/payees.

    About Business eFile Numbers (BENs)
    BENs are only required when the filer withheld Iowa tax.

    Creating a File
    If you have the means to create your file, the formatting requirement and specifics are available in IDR publication 44-082. The IDR file format is unique to IDR. Uploading the
    same file you uploaded to the Social Security Administration will result in a file rejection.

    If you do not have the means to create the file internally, you will need to contact a vendor. Software vendors who have registered and tested their products with IDR will be listed on the IDR website. If your software provider is not listed, you will need to contact your provider to confirm if your software is capable of creating a W-2 or 1099 file for the state of Iowa.

    We recommend using one of the approved software vendors listed on our website to ensure compliance.

    Resolving Common Error Codes

    Still have questions?

  • Information for Bulk Filers
    eFile & Pay Application to Become a Bulk Filer 78-004
    W-2 and 1099 Common Questions 
    Troubleshooting W-2 & 1099 Error Codes 

    Bulk Filer Questions & Answers

    Creating a File
    If you have the means to create your file, the formatting requirement and specifics are available in IDR publication 44-082.

    If you do not have the means to create the file internally, you will need to contact a vendor. Software vendors who have registered and tested their products with IDR will be listed on the IDR website. If your software provider is not listed, you will need to contact your provider to confirm if your software is capable of uploading W-2 wage statements to the Iowa Department of Revenue.

    We recommend using one of the approved software vendors listed on our website to ensure compliance.

    The IDR file format is unique to IDR. Uploading the same file you uploaded to the Social Security Administration will result in a file rejection.

    Bulk Filer Client Data Files
    If you are set up as a bulk filer, you can upload the files of your clients, as well as your own firm.  To upload data for multiple clients in one file, click the link "File For Your Clients" after logging in to eFile & Pay. 
     
    Bulk Filer's Firm Files

    If you use your bulk filer BEN to upload client files and a separate BEN to upload a file on behalf of your firm, you can only see the uploaded files associated with each BEN.
     

    Still have questions?

  • Who needs to file an Iowa Verified Summary of Payments (VSP)?

    IDR is still accepting paper Verified Summary of Payments (VSPs) for tax year 2019 and 2020. If changes are made to future tax years, IDR will advise of those changes.

    If you are registered with Iowa as an Iowa withholding agent and withheld Iowa tax, you need to file the VSP.

    • If you are registered with Iowa as an Iowa withholding agent but are not required to withhold Iowa tax, you will file the VSP showing zero due.
    • If you are registered as an Iowa withholding agent and issue 1099s that have Iowa withholding, you need to file the VSP.
    • If you are not registered as an Iowa withholding agent and have been sending in payments, you need to get registered. You also need to file the VSP.

    Filing your VSP
    File your VSP through the eFile & Pay system, either online or by telephone. The VSP is due February 15. Learn more about eFile & Pay.

    What needs to be sent with the VSP?
    Nothing! Do not send copies of W-2s or 1099s, and do not send any payment with the VSP.