Employers and other businesses can get a jump on upcoming tasks, says the IRS. Jan. 31 is the filing deadline for employer wage statements and independent contractor forms. This allows the IRS time to verify income reported on individual tax returns and detect refund fraud. Here are some early-start tips from the IRS to help avoid penalties: Verify employee data for accuracy, including names, addresses and Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers. Ensure that your company’s account information with the Social Security Administration is correct. If paper forms are needed, order early. Extensions for filing Form W-2 are granted only for certain specific reasons.