By federal law, all W-2 forms must be put in the mail to workers by January 31st of each year. Sometimes employers do not make the deadline, and sometimes mail simply gets lost. If it is approach April 15th and you still do not have your W-2 form, then do not panic. There are a few different ways you can get your W-2 sent to you on time for filing your taxes.
Call Your Employer
Sometimes a lost W-2 form is an honest mistake. It may have gotten lost in the mail, or smaller employers might simply forget to mail it. But since it is a federal offense to not mail out W-2s on time, it may be difficult to get your employer to admit their mistake. The best approach is to let your employer know that things happen and you just want your W-2 so you can file. If you make a big deal out of what could be a simple mistake, you might find that your employer is not willing to cooperate.
Call The IRS
If you don’t wait too long for your W-2, then you can call the IRS and get a copy. You will need your social security number, name, address, employer’s name, employer’s address, the dates you worked and the federal tax withheld that is on your final pay stub for the year. You will also need both your phone number and your employer’s phone number. It takes time for the IRS to process and send out a W-2, so do not hesitate to contact it if you do not have your W-2 by March.
If you are up against the April 15th deadline and still do not have your W-2, then you can use IRS form 4852 as a substitute. Once again, you would need your last pay stub of the year to get your estimated wages to complete this form. Using form 4852 will delay the processing of your taxes, but at least you will file on time.
Asking For An Extension
If you feel that you want to wait for your W-2, then you can file for a six-month extension and file your taxes in October. The strange part about this is that, while you can delay filing your taxes by six months, you would still owe any payments by April 15th. If you do your taxes in October and find out that you owe the IRS, you will also have to pay any penalties and fees that are associated with paying your taxed six months late.
If you work for a company, then you cannot file your tax return until you have your W-2 wage report. Your company is supposed to have it to you by the first week of February, but sometimes things go wrong and it does not arrive. If you don’t get your W-2 in February, then you still have plenty of options for getting your W-2 on time to file your taxes in April.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!