The IRS has authorized the e-mail as an appropriate delivery method for 2001 W-2 forms. Proposed and temporary regulations (REG-107186-00; T.D. 8942) on the delivery of W-2 forms do not specifically allow the use of e-mail, however George Blaine, IRS representative from the chief counsel's office, in a recent speech to the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee, indicated that the regulations were intentionally vague on the subject, thus allowing for a variety of secure electronic delivery mechanisms including e-mail.
Mr. Blaine stated that employers can provide all W-2s to employees via e-mail, regardless of employee consent for such a delivery choice, as long as security measures are addressed.
Employers are still required to provide a paper copy of a W-2 form if an employee requests it.
The IRS has requested that the law requiring first class mail delivery of paper W-2 forms be eliminated, indicating that the war on terrorism may cause anxieties about mail delivery.