Pennsylvania Publishes Updates to W-2 and 1099 Specifications

August 10, 2018 Paul Ogawa

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue recently updated their W-2 and 1099 Employer Withholding Reporting Instructions and Specifications Handbook for 2018. This most recent update follows an update in May 2018, where a significant overhaul to the specifications was made in order to account for updates to the reporting criteria.

This most recent update includes a number of changes to the specifications for both W-2 and 1099 reporting, including the following:

  • The “RF” record specifications were added to the publication for W-2 reporting purposes. Previously the “RF” record was noted as required when filing with Pennsylvania, but the data elements such as the location, field name, length, and field description were left out. The update addresses this omission and includes this information, and also notes that the PA Department of Revenue will ignore information in the “RF” Record in location 3-475.
  • Notes were added under “File Specifications for .CSV Format”.
    • “Required columns do not have to be in the order provided in each specification type.”
    • “W-2 Wage Record files must contain a minimum of 20 columns of data.”
  • Under “File Specifications for .CSV Format”, the “Row” column was removed from the specifications.
  • Under “File Specifications for .CSV Format”, a minimum number of columns of data has been added to each file type.
    • W-2: 20 columns of data;
    • 1099-R: 31 columns of data;
    • 1099-MISC: 34 columns of data;
    • REV-1667 Annual Withholding Reconciliation Statement: 29 columns of data.
  • The 1099-R specifications were updated to include greater specificity:
    • The Address Lines, Governing District, Postal Area, and Country Code (formerly Rows 12-18) are specified as the “Recipient’s” information.
  • The “Payer’s Name” columns for the 1099-R, 1099-MISC, and REV-1667 all have a max character limit of 50.
    • No maximum character limit was imposed previously.
  • The 1099-MISC specifications updated the “Recipient’s Last Name” column to “Recipient’s Last Name/Business Name”.
    • If the recipient is a business, enter the business name;
    • 30 character limit remains the same.

To review this update in its entirety, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue e-Tides website by clicking here.

About the Author

Paul Ogawa is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos Compliance. As part of the Regulatory Analysis team, his main areas of focus are state and federal tax withholding, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Canadian tax information reporting. Prior to Sovos, Paul worked as a litigation attorney in Boston area law firms, representing clients in insurance subrogation claims, family law matters, and employment disputes. Paul is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, earned his B.A. from Brandeis University and his J.D. from the Suffolk University Law School.

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