View Full Version : export W2 data needs complete names

chris m
01-25-2009, 06:19 PM

The PayWindow W-2 export data file contains a field called "Employee name" which contains (as a single field) "Lastname, Firstname" of each employee. However, this field is not usable 'as is' to prepare W-2 forms. IRS Instructions for Form W-2 require that the name be in printed on the W-2 Box e as firstname, middle initial, lastname:

"Boxes e and f—Employee’s name and address. Enter the name as shown on your employee’s social security card (first, middle initial, last)"

For those who may be exporting their PayWindow data for use in another application to print the W-2s (or to upload a data file to the SSA Small Business Online service), it would be very useful to include separate fields for first, middle initial, and last names in the export file. The W-2s printed by PayWindow do of course use the first/middle/last format as required, but it would be nice if the data file also contained all necessary data without further processing.



Paul Mayer
01-25-2009, 08:09 PM
That W2 Export is only for one purpose, to be used by MAG-Filer from Spokane Computing for employers with over 250 employees that need to submit the data electronically.

See our Partner's page for a link to their software.

chris m
01-30-2009, 01:33 PM
I realize the export is to send data to MAG-Filer so they can prepare the W-2s, but the data we send to MAG-Filer needs to be the data required to prepare the W-2s per IRS regs, which require first, middle init, and last names, not just first and last names. I IRS complains to me that my W-S are not prepare per the specification, and I complain to MAG-Filer, they are going to say "We used the data you gave us, if it was not correct, that is not our fault". And I agree with them, we need to give them the data per the requirements.

One solution would be to edit the export file manually, adding middle initials, for dozens of employees, but this seems a waste of effort compared to simply modifying the export from PayWindow to comply with the regs.

If I don't enter the data correctly in PayWindow, obviously the output will be wrong, but if I do enter the complete name as it appears on the SS Card (per IRS rules), then I think it is reasonable to expect the program to export the data I entered.

Again, the IRS specs on W-2s is not ambiguous about this: "Boxes e and f—Employee’s name and address. Enter the name as shown on your employee’s social security card (first, middle initial, last)"


Paul Mayer
01-30-2009, 03:43 PM
The MAG-FILER import import is setup to read exactly what we export and would not work if we changed the file format.

You can edit your employees to put the middle initial in with teh fiorst name (e.g. Paul J.) and then it will use it in MAG-FILER.