BA Harris LLP

What If Your Employer Doesn’t Give You a W-2?

Published on Thursday, February 02, 2012

This isn’t a problem that arises often. When it does, it typically happens to your child. They may have had several jobs during the summer and perhaps the employer didn’t get an accurate address. The business may have failed, which is not unusual in our current difficult economic environment. It can also happen to adults for a variety of reasons. The IRS recently published a “tax tip” dealing with this issue and we thought it was relevant and timely enough to pass it on!

If you haven’t received your W-2, follow these four steps:

  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 issue the W-2.
  2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by Feb. 14, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:
    • Employer’s name, address 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 2011. 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 by April 17, 2012, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 in time to file your return 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 file 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.

    Form 4852, Form 1040X and instructions are available www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
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