Normally, companies issue W-2 forms to workers in January to inform them of their earnings during the previous year, as well as the amount of income, Social Security and Medicare taxes they paid. A return that does not have all of your W-2s filed might be delayed in processing, and you may not receive your refund until the W-2s are received.
Employers are required to send workers W-2s by January 31 every year or a few days later if the month’s end falls on a weekend. Here are six steps you can take if you haven’t yet received your earnings statement.
Check your calendar
You’re probably eager to receive your refund as soon as possible if you’re expecting one. As long as your employer receives your W-2 by January 31, it meets the January 31 delivery deadline. If your company didn’t drop your W-2 into a U.S. Postal Service box until the very last day of the month, your W-2 could still arrive by the end of February.
Search your email for the W-2
Almost all companies now provide workers with electronic access to company documents, including tax statements. Due to security concerns, most companies will not email your W-2 directly but will send you an email letting you know how to access the company’s employee portal and download your earnings statement. You should check your spam folder if that message hasn’t appeared in your inbox.
Call your company
Your company’s payroll or human resources department should be able to assist you if you haven’t received your W-2 by the end of February. There is a possibility that your employer has the incorrect address for you, and your W-2 has bounced back to them as undeliverable. When such a situation arises, your employer should reissue the document with the correct address.
Contact the IRS
You should get in touch with the IRS if you are still waiting for your W-2 well into February. You can reach out to the IRS toll-free on 800-829-1040 or stop by a local taxpayer assistance center (TAC) if you have been unsuccessful in getting a copy from your employer. In order to make that call or visit successful, you’ll need the following:
- The name of your company, your address, and your phone number.
- Update the name, address, and telephone number of your employer.
- Your employment dates with the employer.
- The amount of taxes withheld from your wages and income last year. These amounts should appear on your last pay stub of the tax year.
The IRS will contact your workplace with this information regarding the missing tax document.
File without a W-2
Your return will be processed slower without a W-2, but waiting for your company to get another copy may be preferable.
In addition, you can request W-2 information if your employer went out of business and you don’t know where to find that information. You can submit Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage, and Tax Statement, along with your return if this is the case. This document asks you to estimate the wages you earned and the taxes withheld last year. It is possible to obtain these figures from your last pay stub as well.
Request more time to file
Depending on when your W-2 arrives, you may need to request more time to file your tax return. Your 1040 will automatically extend by six months if you file Form 4868.
Your tax forms are only extended if you file them by the due date. The extension does not extend the time for you to pay your taxes. Form 4868 should include the amount of tax you owe. Taking your estimate seriously will help you avoid interest and penalties if you pay less than what you owe.
You must file your tax return or an extension request by the deadline, no matter which approach you choose. It is possible to amend your tax return once you receive your official earnings statement after filing your taxes.