Feds Hike Penalties for Tax Missteps

Because the system wasn't brutal enough


Thursday, Jan. 31, is the deadline for businesses to issue tax forms, including W-2s and 1099s, for work performed in 2012. Missing that deadline, or issuing improper documents, used to draw the equivalent of a wrist slap from the IRS. But in the past couple of years, many penalties—including those on small businesses—have more than doubled, and deadlines are being strictly enforced.

For an update on the rules, and on the 1099-K reporting requirement that became effective a year ago, I checked in with Janice Krieger, an expert on W-2 and 1099 compliance at Greatland, a Grand Rapids (Mich.) tax documents and e-filing company with 250,000 small and midsize business clients.