Yes that is correct. You have to pay for the subscription to get the w2’s. You can file them online using the government’s website: https://www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm
It is free if you have the information.
Resolution for '2015 desktop issue: 'Using QB Pro 2015 Desktop – No Payroll Subscription Can’t print W-2' available: Yes.
The 2015 desktop issue or error code is a known issue in Quickbooks Online (QBO) and/or Quickbooks. Support for this issue is available either by self-service or paid support options. Experts are available to resolve your Quickbooks issue to ensure minimal downtime and continue running your business. First try to resolve the 2015 desktop issue yourself by looking for a resolution described in the article. If it is a complex 2015 desktop issue or you are unable to solve the issue, you may contact us by clicking here or by using other 2015 desktop support options.
For more information about resolving issues related to 2015 desktop in Quickbooks/QBO or to get support for the issue 'Using QB Pro 2015 Desktop – No Payroll Subscription Can’t print W-2', click the link below: