Florida W-2 Delay

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School workers will face W-2 delay

Mike Berry of The Sentinel Staff

Published in The Orlando Sentinel on February 04, 2000 .

Just when the Orange County school system thought it had straightened out its payroll problems, tax season brings more trouble.

Hundreds of school district employees face a delay in getting their W-2 forms for filing income-tax reports because computer errors created faulty tax information on the forms.

It's the latest payroll headache since the school district went to a new computer software system last summer.

The district has asked the IRS for an extension until Feb. 29 to get all its W-2s in the mail. Under IRS rules all tax forms are supposed to be mailed to employees by Jan. 31.

The school district held off on mailing tax forms to about 600 employees because of possible errors, said Peter Gorman, chief operating officer for business and finance.

That's because the employees, most of them nonteachers, changed positions in the middle of a payroll period some time last year, he said. Employees affected include clerks, bus drivers, custodians and teacher aides, he said.

Payroll officials are checking the 600 W-2 forms individually. About 200 were fine and have been mailed out, Gorman said. Another 200 or so are incorrect and must be reprocessed, he said. The remaining 200 have not been examined.

Gorman could not say how long it will take to get all tax forms out, but he hoped it would not be as late as Feb. 29.

For the rest of the school district's approximately 22,000 employees, all W-2s were mailed out on time, Gorman said. There is no reason to think those contain any errors, he said.

The delays are problematic for employees in two ways. One, they face a delay in filing their taxes, which could hold up refunds. And two, some employees probably scheduled appointments with tax advisers expecting their tax forms, Gorman said.

"In both those areas, we're upset that we've caused them trouble," he said.

In a Jan. 31 letter to employees Gorman said they will face no tax penalties because of the delays.

After the school system went with an updated computer system last year, using software created by the SAP firm, hundreds of employees were incorrectly paid or not paid at all. It took several months to sort all that out.

Software glitches and improper training were blamed for those mistakes. Both played a role in the tax form problem as well, Gorman said.

Union officials said Thursday they had heard no complaints about the W-2 delays. They said school district officials were doing a better job communicating with employees this time around.

Posted Feb 3 2000 10:07PM


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), February 04, 2000

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