What To Do If You Are Missing Your Forms W2

by Khaleef Crumbley on February 15, 2011

in Taxes

Forms W2

Even though employers had until January 31st to get all of their Forms W2 mailed out to their employees, there are still many people who haven’t received one as of yet. If you are missing one of more of your forms W-2, the IRS has procedures in place to assist you.

What Information Is Included On My Forms W2?

You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers. This form includes all of the income that you received from your employer, all of the various taxes that have been withheld during the tax year (federal, state, local, social security, etc), and any other deductions (pre-tax medical premium, retirement savings, etc).

The IRS requires that every employer issue forms W-2 to all of their employees, so that they can be included when the employee goes to file a tax return. Here is what the IRS recommends in the case of a missing Form W-2:

What Should I Do If I Am Missing Forms W2?

1. Contact your employer If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.

2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by February 14th, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city and state, including zip code, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:

  • Employer’s name, address, city and state, including zip code and phone number
  • Dates of employment
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and when you worked for that employer during 2010. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

3. File your return You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file April 18, 2011, even if you do not receive your Forms W-2. If you have not received your Forms W2 by the due date, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible.  There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

4. File a Form 1040X On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Once you are ready to prepare a return, then be sure to contact us to set up an appointment for tax preparation. If you decide to file your own taxes, we recommend using TurboTax to do so.

Be sure you are aware of the tax filing delay, as well as the fact that the tax filing deadline has been extended this year. To get the most out of your tax situation in 2011, you should know the IRA Contribution Limits, 401k Contribution Limits, and the Income Tax Rates for 2011!

photo by Arvind Balaraman

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brad Harmon @ Marketplace Christianity

Great tips, Khaleef. As a former Certified Public Accountant, I would add that employers don’t have to submit their copies of W-2s and 1099s until the end of February. This gives employers an opportunity to correct errors in amounts or addresses like Financial Samurai’s case.

There are penalties that can be levied against employers if they do not send these out timely, but it’s usually easiest to just give them a call. If you’re using a CPA or an Enrolled Agent to do your taxes, they will normally be happy to give your employer a call or fax a request to them. This will require your signature, but it helps in cases where there may be an outstanding issue between you and your former employer.

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2 Financial Samurai

I think my employer sent the W2 form to the old office address. Sigh. Gotta follow up! I plan on doing mine the last week of March as I likely owe.

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