Employers have until January 31 to provide you with W-2 form, but that’s not always a case. For multiple reasons, some take longer, but most people don’t complain about it. Keep in mind that employers may send W2s on the last day of January so it may take additional few days for you to get it. By now though, you should definitely have the form and if you don’t, here are a few things you can do.
First, contact your employer. Since they are done generating W2s for the year, they should address your request promptly. Common reason for a missing W2 is that the employer may not have your current address. It’s possible you moved or it was never accurate in the employer’s records.
You can also reach out to the IRS and ask them to contact your employer on your behalf. Employers can be unresponsive to your requests for a W2, and a call from the IRS should clear that hurdle. Be prepared to have some information ready; for the IRS to act on your behalf, the agency will need the following:
- Your contact information – name, address, phone number and social security number.
- Employer information – name, address, telephone number.
- Your employment dates.
- Estimated wages and withholdings – you can refer to your last paycheck for that info.
For a substitute W2, call IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Regardless whether you did or didn’t receive your W2s, you still have to file taxes on time. Here are some ways to do it:
- Using your pay stub – look into your last pay stub for the prior calendar year (in this case for 2017); pay stubs routinely list YTD earnings, withholdings, and other information; it may not be as clear as a W2 which has all the amounts tallied up in appropriate boxes, but it’s a solid alternative.
- Use Form 4852 – this is a substitute for W2 – this is where you list your estimated wages and withholdings; a pay stub can be very helpful in completing this form
What happens when you receive W-2 after you filed your taxes?
If you filed taxes using a pay stub or by estimating your wages and withholdings, the tax return may be inaccurate. If you receive your W2 after the taxes are filed, you may have to file an amended tax return – Form 1040X. You would list the amounts you originally reported and as well as the accurate ones. One thing about Form 1040X is that it can take quite some time to get processed, but at least you have the peace of mind your tax returns are accurate.