When filing your income tax return, it’s important to have all the necessary documents ready to go when you submit. But sometimes, clerical errors, mail delivery errors or just plain negligence can prevent a taxpayer from receiving a W2 from their employer. When that happens, there are several things you should do to make sure that you are not penalized by the IRS. Form W-2 is the wage and tax statement created by your employer that records your earnings to the IRS. Employers have a deadline of January 31st to submit W-2s to their employees.
If you did not receive a W-2, the first step is to contact your employer. Ask your employer if they issued a W-2 to you through the mail and when it was sent out. If they received it back from the post office for an incorrect or incomplete address, you should have them resend the W-2 to you. The best thing to do after they agree to reissue your W-2 is wait a reasonable amount of time for the W-2 to arrive in the mail. If it’s been over two weeks, you should move on to the next step: contacting the IRS.
The IRS recommends that taxpayers who have not received a W-2 anytime after February 14th contact them for assistance. When you do call, make sure you’re ready with personal information like your name, address, Social Security number, phone number. You will also need your Employer’s name, address and phone number as well as accurate dates of employment and an estimate of wages you earned. The IRS will most likely also ask for the federal income tax withheld when you worked for that employer which you can find on the final pay stub from the year.
Do not let a missing W-2 keep you from filing your income tax return. Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement should be attached to your federal tax return. Estimate your income and tax withholdings as accurately as you can and expect a small delay in your IRS refund while the IRS processes your return. If your employer sends your W-2 after you’ve filed your income taxes, you may submit Form 1040X to amend your tax return.