What to do if You are Missing a W-2?
Have you received all of your W-2s? These documents are essential for completing individual tax returns. You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from all of your employers each year. Employers have until January 31st to provide or send you a 2012 W-2 earnings statement, either electronically or in paper form.
If you have not received your W-2, follow these steps:
- Contact Your Tax Preparer—And let him or her know that you are missing a W-2. If your appointment is in the near future, your preparer will advise you whether to keep the appointment or change it to another time. Generally, when a W-2 or 1099 is missing, it is best to keep the appointment so that everything else for the return can be completed. You can then mail the missing document to the office or drop it off at a later date. That way, your return can be finished as soon as the W-2 or 1099 is available, which will speed up your refund, if you are receiving one.
- Contact Your Employer—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 due to an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for the employer to resend or re-issue the W-2.
- Contact the IRS—If you still have not received your W-2 by February 15, you can contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. However, we recommend that you hold off from contacting the IRS until you are certain that you will not be receiving a W-2 from the employer. If and when you do call the IRS, have the following information at hand: Employer’s name, address, city, and state, including zip code; Your name, address, city, state, zip code, and Social Security number; and an estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the period in which you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible. This office can assist you with making the estimate.
- File Your Return—Even if you don’t receive a W-2, you are still required to file your tax return or to request a filing extension by April 15.
If you anticipate that you will ultimately receive the missing W-2, we can estimate your 2012 tax liability and file extensions for you. If you have a substantial refund coming, you may opt to have us prepare a substitute W-2, enabling you to file without the W-2. Refunds for returns, including substitute W-2s, can be delayed significantly while the IRS verifies the W-2 information.
If you don’t anticipate receiving the missing W-2, then this office can prepare a substitute W-2, enabling you to file your 2012 tax return.
If a substitute W-2 is used and it is later determined that the information used to prepare the substitute W-2 was in error, an amended return may need to be prepared for you to be able to file.
Please call us at 559.924.1225 if you have any questions or need assistance.