Your W-2 form is one of the many forms you need to file your tax return. It’s the form your employer sends (or hands you) you every January with a tally of the amount of wages they paid you and the amount they took out for your state and federal tax payments. If you file your taxes by mail, you need this form to send in with your paper tax forms. Even if you file your taxes online, you need the information on your W-2 to fill out the Internet tax forms and you should keep your W-2 on file in case of an audit.
Generally, you should receive your W-2 by the last week of January, which gives you plenty of time to get your taxes together before the April 15 deadline each year. If you’ve changed addresses since you filled out your original tax reporting paperwork with your job, it may take longer for the form to make it to you. But if you haven’t received your form by the second week of February, be sure to contact your employer to ask about it. Depending on the company’s accounting and filing practices, they can usually mail or fax you a replacement. Some companies upload their W-2 forms to the Internet and let you download and print them yourself, which might be the best option.
But what if you can’t reach that employer or your attempts to request a new W-2 are ignored? Well, after February 15, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 and ask the IRS to initiate a W-2 complaint. The IRS contacts your employer to let them know the penalties they can incur if they don’t send you a W-2. Then it sends you a Form 4852, which is a W-2 replacement form. Use your last paycheck to fill out the form and file your taxes. Just be as accurate as possible to avoid any other issues. If your employer comes up with a form, you can always amend your tax return. Happy filing!
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