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Electronic W-2 Transmittal Program

Third-party services: Payroll programs and services are available for purchase from third-party vendors which will automate this process for you. If you choose to submit your file through third-party software or services, you do not need to read the following technical instructions for transmission. However, some third-party software or services will only create the file to transmit but do not transmit it for you. In these cases, you must register and transmit the file yourself.

Note: If you already have a MyTax Illinois account, you may also submit your W-2s through MyTax Illinois.

W-2 or W-2c Transmittal Program

  1. Register – Obtain your W-2 transmitter ID and test and production passwords. If you have registered in the past and have ETIN/Login ID and passwords, those credentials are valid year to year. If you already have an existing ETIN/Login ID and passwords for other Illinois programs, you may use those for the W-2 program as well. If you are using a third-party service or program you may not need to register to transmit. Check with your payroll service or software program, to see if it includes W-2 file transmission. Note: You must be registered to file at least one business day before sending a file. Click here to register as a W-2/1099 Transmitter
  2. Create your file to transmit. Develop the file following the Social Security Administration’s Publication No. 42-007, Specifications for Filing Forms W-2 Electronically, or Social Security Administration's Publication No. 42014, Specifications for Filing Forms W-2c Electronically, and the additional Illinois requirements in the IDR-986, Forms W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmission Program Guide (Important: PDF files or spreadsheet files, such as Excel, are not accepted.)
  3. Transmitting the file to Illinois -
    • Gateway Method – Write your own custom code for automated processing or run our HttpsPost Utility Program (requires download/upload) to transmit your file. See instructions and system requirements (HttpsPost Utility and User Guide). The HttpsPost Utility Program transfers files to and from the Illinois Department of Revenue's (IDOR) Gateway server via the Internet using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.  The utility runs as a stand-alone application under Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 7, 10, and 11. The HttpsPost Utility Program supports both a graphical user interface (GUI) mode of operation as well as a command line mode suitable for batch processing. Please see IDR-986, Forms W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmission Program Guide for more information on using the HttpsPost Utility Program to submit forms W-2 and W-2c. Bulk filers and third-party payroll programs and services may prefer to transmit W-2 and W-2c files by interfacing directly with Illinois Department of Revenue's (IDOR) Gateway.
  4. Transmit your file. You must transmit both test and production data.
    • Test data – We will begin accepting test transmissions of the current year’s W-2 data on November 1 of the year of the withholding. When online registration was completed, a W-2 transmitter ID, test password, and production password were provided to you. Use the test password to transmit your test file to IDOR. Any information transmitted using the test password will be treated as test data and is not considered “live” data. To obtain your test results, you must reenter the system at least 30 minutes after your transmission to retrieve the acknowledgement (see “Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement” below).
    • Production data – Transmit your production data with the same transmittal method used in your successful test transmission. Use the production password provided to you during registration. To obtain your transmission results, you must reenter the system at least 30 minutes after your transmission to retrieve the acknowledgement (see “Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement” below).
  5. Retrieve your transmission acknowledgement* (proof of filing).
    • If you transmit with your own custom code of the HttpsPost Utility Program, you may also use custom code or the HtppsPost Utility Program to retrieve an acknowledgement file which contains information about whether the file was accepted or rejected. To read the content of the acknowledgement file, please see the IDR-986, Forms W-2 and W-2c Electronic Transmission Program Guide.

If no acknowledgement file is present within 24 hours after transmission time, please contact us for assistance.

Important note about proof of filing:   You must retrieve your transmission acknowledgement within 60 days. The Illinois Department of Revenue will not send the acknowledgement to you. Your filing requirements are not met until you receive an “Accepted” transmission acknowledgement from Illinois.

Start Date

Do not transmit current year W-2 data prior to January 2 of the year following the year of the withholding. Prior year W-2 or W-2c files can be transmitted at any time.

Due Date

W-2s must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue no later than January 31 of the year following the year of the withholding.

Any time a due date falls on a weekend or state recognized holiday, we adjust the due date to the next business day. If the IRS has granted you an extension of time to file a federal information return due to a natural disaster or other approved reason, you must submit your Forms W-2 to the Illinois Department of Revenue on or before the extended due date of the federal information return.

Businesses that make a reasonable and good faith effort to comply with the deadline will not be penalized.

General record-keeping requirements

You must maintain employee Forms W-2, W-2c, W-2G, 1099 series, or other withholding tax records for a period of three years from the due date or payment date, whichever is later.