What to Do If You Lost or Haven't Received Your W-2

The W-2 is the only form that validates how much income you earned from your employer in the previous calendar year. So, if you’ve been expectantly checking your mailbox but have not received your W-2 form yet or you have lost it, you may be panicking right about now.

Here’s What To Do If Your W-2 Form Is Missing

Lost or missing W-2 form? Follow these steps.

Contact Your Employer

The first thing you should do if you have not received your W-2 form is contact your employer to inquire 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 it or to issue the W-2 to you.

Contact the IRS

The next step, if you do not receive your W-2 form by February 14th, is to contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, Social Security number, phone number as well as the following information:

  1. Employer’s name, Employer’s address, city, state, zip code and phone number
  2. Dates of employment
  3. An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld and when you worked for that employer during 2016. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

No W-2? Still File Your Return

Unless you file for an extension, you must still file your tax return before April 18, 2017, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by the April 18 filing deadline and you have contacted your employer for a replacement W-2 and the IRS as instructed above, 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. Be aware that there may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

Request an Extension

Often, it’s best to just apply for a six-month extension. The extension will allow you to file your return any time before October 15, 2017. During this period, you should be able to get a copy of the W-2 from your employer or request transcripts from the IRS. Choosing this route will eliminate the need to file an amended return later and will reduce the risk of incurring any IRS penalties.

For more information please contact OTA Tax Pros and request a free tax consultation.

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