In previous years, the 1099’s and W-2’s were due out to recipients by January 31st of each year, but not the government copies. The forms to the government were due on February 28th if filing paper, or March 31st if filing electronically. They have changed the rules this year! ALL forms are due by January 31st of 2017, both recipient and governmental forms. And to further complicate things, if you are filing electronically you cannot access the FIRE system to transmit the forms until January 18th! So you have from January 18th to January 31st to submit electronically.
ACA forms are different, in that the recipient forms have been extended to March 2, 2017. The governmental forms remain at February 28 for paper and March 31 for electronic.
If you are planning to file electronically for the first time and do not have a TCC#, you will need to apply with the IRS right away! That process can take a while with the IRS and with the deadlines moved up to January 31st, it is important you get started now. This is a link from the IRS on how the process works: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc802.html
Similar to online filing of 1099’s with the IRS, the W-2’s are filed with Social Security using their Business Services Online (BSO). The password to the BSO expires every 90 days, so you might want to login early there to get ready for filing by changing your password. This is a link from the BSO on how the process works and how to apply if you’re new to the process: https://www.ssa.gov/employer/reminders.htm