A W-3 form is a summary of your W-2 forms. The W-3 and copy A of all W-2s must be mailed to the Social Security Administration no later than the end of January...even if you file them electronically!
Notice that you do not send the W-3 to the IRS. Instead, the Social Security Administration shares the W-3 and W-2 information with the IRS.
Note: the Social Security Administration has a free electronic filing option available that allows you to prepare and submit up to 20 W-2s. You have to set up a user name and password, but it is easy to do. See the above link for instructions.
The Church Accounting: How To Guide devotes a whole section of the book to payroll for churches. It covers payroll terminology and forms and then takes you through the steps necessary to set up a payroll, calculate and file the necessary taxes and forms, and even details how to handle the minister's payroll. It also includes sections on filling out IRS forms: 1099, 1099-NEC, and 1096.
If you have QuickBooks or are considering using it in the future, go ahead and purchase the QuickBooks for Churches and the How To Guide combo for a complete package on setting up and administering a payroll using QuickBooks.
Note: Box a (control number) is optional. Usually smaller churches do not use this box.
The W-3 and the Copy A of all W-2s must be sent to the Social Security Administration at:
Data Operations Center
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18769-0001