This is one test in a sequence of steps to battle tax-related refund fraud and identity theft.
The purpose of this is to confirm data on Form W-2 submitted by taxpayers who e-file their individual tax returns. Partnered with certain payroll service providers (PSPs), the IRS will have a 16-digit code verification code on a controlled number of Form W-2 provided to employees.
- Beginning with tax year 2019, the verification code is no longer in use.
- Verification codes will appear on more than 60 million (1 out of 4) W-2 forms
- Verification code will be displayed in Box 9, newly labeled Verification Code
- W-2s without a verification code may contain a blank Box 9 or no Box 9 at all
As in previous years:
- The code will be displayed in four groups of four alphanumeric characters, separated by hyphens. Example: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.
- Valid Characters are limited to letters A-F and numerals 0-9
- Verification codes will appear on copies B (Federal Copy) and C (Employee Copy)
- Some Forms W-2 employees receive will have a blank “Verification Code” box.
These taxpayers do not need to enter any code data into their tax software product.
For the purposes of the test, omitted or incorrect W-2 Verification Code should not delay the e-file process or processing of a tax return.