By Janet Walker, Human Resources and Payroll
Tax season is under way, and while it’s generally no fun to file your taxes, Human Resources and Payroll (HR and Payroll) is trying to lighten the mood with a little contest.
If you download your W-2 electronically before 5 p.m. on Jan. 25, your name will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a prize.
“We’ve had electronic W-2s since 2006,” says Sue Tinsman, director of Payroll and Human Resources Information Systems. “It’s a fast, easy alternative to the traditional paper W-2. They’re available sooner; this year, they were online by Jan. 6. You can print as many copies as you need, whenever you need one. We’re hoping our giveaway will encourage faculty and staff to try the electronic W-2.”
There will also be special recognition for those departments with high participation rates in accessing W-2s electronically.
Accessing your W-2 online is easy. Log in to PatriotWeb, select “Employee Services,” then “Tax Forms,” and “W2 Year End Earnings Statement.” By electing to access your W-2 form electronically, a Mason-generated paper W-2 will not be mailed to you.
The majority of faculty, staff and student employees do access their W-2 online. “Electronic W-2 participation has recently been running between 65 and 68 percent,” says Tinsman. “We’re always looking to increase that number, however.”
While electronic W-2s are less expensive for Mason, reducing staff time (fewer paper ones to print) and mailing costs, Tinsman says, “The primary reason we went electronic was to provide earlier W-2 access for our faculty and staff. It helps expedite the entire filing process to do it online. Faster filing can mean a faster return.”
As in years past, the Payroll Department has set up a W-2 hotline at 703-993-2311 or email@example.com if you have questions.
For those who do not download an electronic copy, HR and Payroll wants to remind you that paper W-2 forms will be mailed no later than Jan. 31, 2012. Please ensure that your permanent mailing address is accurate in Patriot Web Self Service. In order to allow ample time for mail forwarding, reprints of mailed W-2 forms will not be processed until the week of Feb. 20.