What should you do when you haven’t received your W-2?

Charles Read, CPA, USTCP, IRSAC

Charles Read, CPA, USTCP, IRSAC
President/CEO GetPayroll
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You should have received your W-2 either directly by January 31st or it should have been mailed to your last known address no later than the same date. Check and make sure it is not on your desk or in the pile of catalogs and magazines you are meaning to get to.

If you’ve moved and did not notify the employer that is sending the W-2 the post office may take extra time in getting it forwarded to your new address if you notified the post office to forward mail. It may take extra time for your W2 to be forwarded to your new address.

Next talk to the appropriate person at the employer. They should provide you another copy. It doesn’t matter if it is a copy of the employer copy. It will work fine with your tax returns.

If you still can’t get your W-2 or a copy of it it is time to call the IRS. But wait until after February 14th. You can call the IRS at (800)829-1040. You will need to have complete information on the employer and you available for the IRS employee including when you work at the employer and estimates of your taxes and earnings. Your check stub will be of help here.

Whether or not you received a W2 you still have to file your taxes on time. If you still don’t have a W-2 you can file with an IRS Form 4852, “ Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement” available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4852.pdf.

If you receive your W-2 after you have filed your taxes and what you estimated is different than the W-2 you can file an IRS Form 1040X to correct the return. In reality, if your W-2 withholding is higher than your estimate you will probably just receive a refund for the difference after everything is processed and cross-checked. But it is proper to file a 1040X to correct the return.

We find that we are having to send out replacement W-2s for our clients every year. Address changes, lost in the mail, washed, misplaced and every reason you can think of including their dog ate it. It should not be a big deal for a company, with or without a payroll service provider, to print out a new W-2 for you. It is not for us at GetPayroll.com.

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