What to Do About Those Missing W2’s
By Alan Olsen
If you still haven’t started your taxes this year, then what are you waiting for? There are numerous reasons to file your taxes early, including:
• Getting your refund sooner
• If you owe money, having more time to pay itoff before the deadline
• Preventing scammers from stealing your refund and your identity
• Feeling the relief of having them done
Of course, in order to file early you do need to have all the necessary forms. So what happens if you’re missing some essentialitems like Form 1099s or W2s? What should you do? There are several measures you can take if you’re missing tax forms.
Talk to Your Employer
First off, your employer – or employers, if you worked for more than one company – is supposed to send all W2s by January 31. If you haven’t received your W2 by the 31, the first step is to contact your employer to verify they have sent your W2. Perhaps they are a bit behind, or maybe they’ve just recently sent them out. In many cases, W2 forms show up a few days late in early February. Additionally, make sure that the company you work for has your correct address on file. If not then they’ve likely sent it to the wrong address.
Contact the IRS
It would be highly unusual for your employer to withhold your W2 or even worse, completely ignore you, but if that’s the case, it’s time to call the IRS. When you notify the IRS that you haven’t received a W2 and your employer won’t respond, the IRS will take action. The agency will send a letter to the company to remind them of their duty. Youwill need to give your company name, address and phone number and the dates you worked there, in addition to your basic personal information. You should also have some idea of your total wages and the taxes withheld.
Try Form 4852
If you’ve been waiting much longer than just a couple of weeks, and the tax deadline is getting really close, then you could use Form 4852. This form acts as a substitute for your missing W2. All you really need to fill out this form is a copy of your last pay stub from the previous year. It should be a fairly accurate gauge of how much you made and how much was withheld in taxes. But be prepared to explain why you are using this form. You will have to tell the IRS about iton line 10 of the form. That includes explaining your previous efforts to acquire your W2.
It’s Up to You
Ultimately, it’s up to you to pay your taxes and file your return. If you can’t get a response from an employer, or you’re missing a Form 1099, then follow these steps to make sure you can complete your return on time. And be sure to act sooner rather than later.