Missing Your W-2? Consider These Tax Solutions.
Just because you don't have your W-2 does not mean you shouldn't file. Doesn't mean you shouldn't delay filing either (unless of course delaying through an extension). As obvious as that may sound it's what many taxpayers do when in this situation. Surprisingly, many people find themselves with tax problems beccause of not filing their taxes due to not having all the information they need to prepare the taxes. The IRS doesn't care if you have all of your data to file their taxes. They want tax returns submitted to determine if money is owed to them. In fact, the IRS will submit returns on your behalf if they don't receive one from you. This is a common reason for back taxes to be owed. Below are a few options that can solve the problem of missing a W-2 (or any tax form for that matter).
Make a Call to the IRS
If you are missing your W-2 or other tax forms you could call the IRS and inform them that you are missing it. Before calling them though make sure you contact your employer or the company that sent you the tax document. If they don’t respond, only then make the call to the IRS. Have your personal information available such as your Social Security number to verify your identity with them. You may also be asked about your previous filing status as well. Even if you don’t know your status it may not stop the conversation. But at least you should provide them with Social Security, your address and possibly your birth date.
Use Pay Stub Information
If you don't have W-2 you can use a substitute for W-2 with your tax return which is Form 4852. Basically you will be filling out the information that is normally on the W-2 like your gross wages and tax withholdings. The IRS may be able to give you the information possibly after mid-February. But let us assume that they don’t have this information recorded yet because sometimes they don’t have it until May of each year. If that's the case then you can, to the best of your knowledge, estimate your year-to-date (YTD) income and your withholdings. Your last pay stub may have this cumulative information.
Suppose that you discovered that your information is substantially inaccurate. You may then file an amended tax return using Form 1040X. Amended returns are a nuisance. I would suggest that if the information that you submitted originally needs just a minor correction that you don’t worry about it. Just when you receive an IRS notice telling you that your information is not correct agree to whatever information they have if theirs is accurate. Thus you can save the expensive amended return fees.
File an Extension of Time
Alternatively you can file an extension of time before the April tax deadline so the IRS has the accurate information available for you. Make sure to send the IRS any payments that you may know that you are going to owe. Extension of filing is not an extension of payments. Typically you have six months from April 15 to meet the final filing deadline of October 15 for the year.