Nonprofit W-2 preparation is basically the same as for-profit businesses, but with some additional considerations based on the type of nonprofit you are (more on that below). Like any other business, nonprofits and their employees are subject to payroll taxes even though 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are exempt from paying income taxes.

Nonprofit W-2 Preparation Requirements

All nonprofits are still responsible for collecting payroll taxes, remitting the money to the Internal Revenue Service and state governments and for providing proper documentation.

According to the IRS, all employers must issue W-2 forms to employees each year, including nonprofits. Religious organizations may choose to exempt some employees, such as clergy, from participating in Social Security. These religious employers need not deduct Social Security tax from an employee’s pay or pay the matching employer contribution. However, religious nonprofits are still obligated to collect state and federal income taxes and to issue each employee a W-2.

The deadline for giving employees their W-2 forms is January 31 of the following year. But, the date for filing W-2 forms with the Social Security Administration is also now January 31 and not February 28.

 Make sure you give employees their forms in time for review, to prevent errors.  

Nonprofit W-2 Preparation Checklist

1. Check Employee W-4 Forms

Employers are required to have a W-4 form on file for all employees at all times. Form W-4 includes information necessary for determining the amount of an employee’s federal income tax withholding, marital status, number of dependents, and any additional amounts to be withheld.


Form W-4 must be completed at hire and at any time the employee wishes to make a change. The employee should change the W-4 form if the employee’s personal information (including marital status and number of dependents) changes, or if the employee’s address changes. The employee may also change the W-4 form at any time to alter the amount of withholding.

Each year before the end of the year, employers should ask all employees to review the W-4 form to make sure the personal information is accurate and the filing status is updated for the new year. Making sure employees have accurate and current information on Form W-4 will help you prepare and distribute W-2 forms.

Check the data in FastFund Payroll for each employee to make sure it is correct compared to the information provided on the W-4.

Also make sure the following information is correct for each employee.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number

Make sure you check all employees who were paid in 2017, not just active employees.

In FastFund Payroll, to check the information for the employee, in Payroll, go to Lists and select Employees. Or, go to Reports, select Employees and Employee Information Report.

2. Confirm Company Information for W-2 Forms

The W-2 includes information on your company. In FastFund Online, go to Administration and Company Set Up and make sure the following information is correct:

  • Company Name
  • Address
  • Contact Name
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address
  • Federal ID Number
  • State ID Number

3. Print Yearly Payroll Reports for Verification

Regardless of your organization’s fiscal year, W-2 reporting is always on the calendar year. To verify the amounts to be reported on the W-2, you will need to print the following calendar year reports to reconcile the payroll data printed on the W-2.

  • Payroll Summary Report
  • Employer Summary Report
  • Master Adjustments Report for Deductions, Contributions and Other Income
  • Quarterly 941s

These reports will provide you with backup information for the data summarized on the employee W-2 and summary W3 forms.

If you signed up for the Year End W-2 Processing from Araize, then your work is done. If not, complete the steps below:

4. Generate the W-2s for the Year.

FastFund Online will generate W-2s for all employees who were paid wages in 2017. After generating the W-2, you can open and review each employee’s W-2, and if necessary, edit the data on each individual W-2 before printing.

5. Print Your W-2s

There are multiple copies of the W-2s for filing by your organization with the federal and local government agencies, copies for your employees to file with their tax returns, copies for your records and copies for your employee’s records.

6. Print the W-3

The W-3 is a summary of all of your W-2 data for the year to be filed with the Social Security Administration and state taxing authorities.

7. File the W-2 with the Appropriate Governmental Agencies

Once you have completed the W-2 and W-3 preparation and distribution to your employees, you need to file the W-2 and W-3 to be filed with the appropriate federal and state taxing authorities. Remember, the deadline is now January 31.

Blog shared in its entirety as written by:

Joseph Scarano is the CEO of Araize, Inc., developers of cloud-based FastFund Online Nonprofit accounting, fundraising and payroll software solutions to help your nonprofit become more transparent, accountable and sustainable.