Deadline Jan. 9 To Opt Out of Paper W-2s

Tips and reminders for year-end financial paperwork

Employees can now discontinue receiving paper W-2 tax forms and receive the electronic format only. Stock photography by BigStock Photo.
Employees can now discontinue receiving paper W-2 tax forms and receive the electronic format only. Stock photography by BigStock Photo.

Duke staff and faculty can now choose to permanently opt out of receiving paper W-2 forms as part of an effort to reduce costs and support Duke's commitment to sustainability.

To do so, employees must opt out through the Duke@Work self-service site by 5 p.m. on Jan. 9 to stop receiving a paper W-2 for 2012. Last year, employees had the option of viewing and printing an electronic W-2 form but could not avoid receiving a paper version.

"Obtaining your W-2 electronically means you get it faster, and you avoid having a document that has your Social Security number and other private information being handled by multiple people," said Anne Comilloni, director of operations for Corporate Payroll Services.

Duke will make the electronic W-2 forms available Jan. 18, 2013 through the Duke@Work self-service site. Those who don't select to opt-out will receive paper W-2s after Jan. 25, 2013 from their payroll representatives.

Theresa Shouse, a departmental business manager for the Department of Sociology, viewed her W-2 electronically last year and is glad to be offered the chance to opt out of the paper W-2.

"I will definitely select the electronic option," she said. "I will do anything to cut down on paper use, and quite honestly, I find it much more efficient to locate my files electronically."

Employees can update their W-2 setting or view and print online W-2 forms any time through Duke@Work.

Here are a few other reminders about other year-end action items and paperwork.

  • Employees enrolled in health or dependent care reimbursement accounts for 2012 have through Dec. 31, 2012 to use the money. Reimbursement claims for expenses incurred through Dec. 31 must be submitted by April 15, 2013. Money left in the account after April 15, 2013 will be forfeited.
  • Payroll deductions for health and dependent care reimbursement accounts for 2013 will begin in January 2013.
  • Payroll deductions for medical, dental and vision benefits in 2013 (including the tobacco use surcharge, if applicable) will begin in the final paycheck of 2012.
  • This year, for the first time, the amount that Duke pays for an individual's medical insurance premiums will be reported in Box 12 of the W-2. The amount is not counted as taxable income for an employee. The addition of this information on the W-2 is required as part of health care reform.
  • Now is a good time to update personal information through Duke@Work to ensure it is correct. Accurate personal information will help ensure that all tax-related documents for 2012 are sent to the correct address. Call (919) 684-5600 for assistance in updating personal information.