Iowa W2 E-File Requirements & EFW2 Text Format | IA eFile and Pay Upload

Iowa W2 Electronic Filing Common Questions and Answers

Does Iowa mandate filing W-2s electronically?

As an Iowa employer you are required to file electronically. Iowa does not accept paper W-2 wage and tax statements.

What is the name of the publication that defines Iowa W2 E-Filing format and details?

Refer to "Iowa Department of Revenue Publication 44-082".

What software can I use to generate Iowa W2 E-File submissions?

You can use our W2 Mate software to create W2 E-File submissions that comply with Iowa requirements. To learn more about W2 Mate and download a demo you can visit


Can I mail my W2 E-File submission on a CD or other formats of magnetic media to Iowa?

Iowa no longer accepts CD-ROMs, Cartridges, Flash drives, Floppy disks, Magnetic media or PDF files.

Does Iowa Follow the EFW2 format defined by the SSA?

Yes, Iowa follows the "Specifications for Filing Forms W-2 (EFW2)" as defined by the SSA, but the state also has its own special requirements.

How can I submit the Iowa DOR-EFW2 (W2 E-File) Withholding file attachment to Iowa?

You will need to register with Iowa Department of Revenue and use your own eFile and Pay credentials to upload W2 wage and tax statements.

Do you need to include the RV (State Total) record as part of the Iowa W2 E-File Submission?

Yes, this record is mandatory and has to be included.

Do you need to include the RS (State Wage) records as part of the Iowa W2 E-File Submission?

Yes, this record is mandatory and has to be included.

Does Iowa have a special file naming convention for W2 E-File submissions?

The W-2 filename must follow this pattern: "IAW2", hyphen, log-in BEN, hyphen, Control#, period, and "txt" where the hyphen has ASCII hex value x"2D". Examples:

IAW2-12345678-2018001.txt (Control# equals the year at present followed by a three-digit sequence number. This example is the first file uploaded in 2018.)

IAW2-12345678-201801201830.txt (Control# equals file creation date and time. This example depicts January 20, 2018 6:30p.m.)

Is the Iowa W2 Electronic Filing submission attachment an ASCII text file?

Yes, the submission is a text file that follows the specifications of both the SSA EFW2 format and the Iowa requirements defined by "Iowa Department of Revenue Publication 44-082".

Does Iowa have any requirements for money fields?

Money fields must contain only numbers. No punctuation. Include both dollars and cents with the decimal point assumed (example: $89.70 = 000008970). All state withholding shall be rounded to the nearest dollar. Right-justify and zero fill to the left. Any money field that has no amount to be reported must be filled with zeros, not blanks. Iowa withholding cannot be greater than Iowa taxable wages.

Does Iowa have any requirements for Social Security Number (SSN)?

Use the number shown on the original/replacement SSN card. Omit hyphens.

How do I know if my submission was successful?

For each file Iowa receives, Iowa posts a corresponding results file. The results file reports one confirmation number per employer/payer filing that Iowa accepted.

Warning: If the results file doesn"t appear, remember to click the "REFRESH" button. Large files take longer to process, delaying the results file.

How do I contact Iowa with questions about my W2 E-File submission?

Call 515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388

The electronic filing engine available inside our W2 Mate® software gives Iowa employers and tax professionals the ability to e-File W2s with both the state of Iowa and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA). To learn more about W2 Mate visit https://www.realtaxtools.com/W2-Mate.html , email sales@realtaxtools.com or call 1-800-507-1992. 

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