Missing Your W2? Take These Steps.
February 21, 2014 by Stephanie Potash
If you worked as an employee last year, your employer must give you a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. This form shows the amount of wages you received for the year and the taxes withheld from those wages. It’s important that you use this form to help make sure you file a complete and accurate tax return.
Most employers give Forms W-2 to their workers by Jan. 31. If you haven’t received yours by mid-February, here’s what you should do:
1. Contact your employer. You should first ask your employer to give you a copy of your W-2. You’ll also need this form from any former employer you worked for during the year. If employers send the form to you, be sure they have your correct address.
2. Contact the IRS. If you exhaust your options with your employer and you have not received your W-2, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. You’ll need the following when you call:
- Your name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
- Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
- The dates you worked for the employer; and
- An estimate of the amount of wages you were paid and federal income tax withheld in 2013. If possible, you can use your final pay stub to figure these amounts.
3. File on time. Your tax return is due by April 15, 2014. If you don’t get your W-2 in time to file, use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Estimate your wages and withheld taxes as accurately as you can. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.
If you need more time, you can apply for a six-month extension to file your federal tax return. The easiest way to apply is to visit IRS.gov and use IRS Free File to e-file the extension. You can also mail Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Make sure you file your request by midnight on April 15.
You may need to correct your tax return if you get your missing W-2 after you file. If the tax information on the W-2 is different from what you originally reported, you may need to file an amended tax return. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to make the change.