Last week, I talked about the automation of 1099 addresses, so this week we turn to the automation of W2 addresses. Just like 1099s, the IRS has very strict rules for W2 addresses. It only allows for 22 characters for the first line of the street address. Kind of crazy. My seemingly simple home address is 24 characters. Since most of your correspondence with employees is not W2s, HR users have a tendency to create more generous addresses. And, of course, Escape Online allows you to do this, giving you 60 characters across two lines.
Unlike 1099s, employees, at most, have two addresses: street address and mailing address. That gives you the perfect amount of flexibility for your everyday letters, but still doesn't address (pun intended) the requirements of the IRS.
Now, Escape Online could provide another address for W2s, but come on, that just seems like a lot of busy work. So, instead, Escape Online has implemented "W2 Address Logic" that makes the current employee address (no changes necessary!) fit the address within the IRS guidelines, adhere to USPS guidelines and reduce address errors.
This is how it works. Escape Online uses an abbreviation algorithm for W2 addresses. If the length of the first line of the street address is greater than 22 characters, then Escape Online converts the entire address to a “W2 address" using USPS abbreviations. Bonus, this DOES NOT change the employee address, only the address printed on the W2.
Check it out.
In this example, the employee address has the word "Avenue" spelled out.
When you load the W2 information, Escape Online converts the address to a W2 address according to USPS/IRS standards, ensuring that the W2 file is free from address errors and the mailed W2 is delivered.
In this example, "Avenue" was abbreviated to "Ave." and the apartment number was moved to the second line.
Here are some more examples of how the abbreviation and line break logic works:
Employee Address = 5678 W Summer Creek Road W2 Address Line 1 = 5678 W Summer Crk Rd
Employee Address = 7890 Tahoe Mountain Parkway//Apartment 237* W2 Address Line 1 = 7890 Tahoe Mtn Pkwy W2 Address Line 2 = Apartment 237
*In Escape Online the slash-slash (//) in an address indicates a line break.