What You Should Know About Your Form W-2

It’s tax time, and you need your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement from your employer(s) to file an accurate federal tax return. You should have received this form by January 31.

If you did not get it by now check with your employer to make sure they have your correct address.

If the employer(s) in question have your correct address and the W-2’s have not arrived by the end of February you must still file your income tax forms and pay any income taxes due on time. Not to worry.

The following is what you should consider doing:
Call the IRS and they will send a letter to your employer.Use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, instead of Form W-2.

The 4582 Form requires that you ESTIMATE your wages and withholdingmaking it important that you lean on your employer(s) to issue the W-2 Form if they are proving delinquent. You can use the last pay stub of the year or similar statement which should help you estimate the amounts withheld and forwarded to the US Treasury and accordingly to the state taxing authorities in the states that assess income taxes.

More often than not though when receiving Form W-2 usually people discover that their estimated annotated on the 4582 Form was inaccurate.  There are a wide variety of reasons why a final pay stub for the tax year and a W-2 have different amounts listed that I am happy to review with you. If you might be so inclined to dive down that rabbit hole – contact me.

If the IRS does not systematically correct the discrepancy between the 4852 reporting estimated tax withholding and the W-2 submitted by the employer (if any) you will have to correct your tax return by filing Form IRS 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Chances are also good that if you are obligated to amend your federal income tax forms you might find yourself obligated to amend your state income tax forms as well.

Keep in mind, your amended income tax return must be filed in paper form with original or ‘wet inked’ signatures and can take up to 6 months to process.  It is a real pain and tax practitioners charge a LOT of money to do it!

For more information check out IRS Can Help Taxpayers Get Form W-2

Have a question? Contact John Dundon. Your comments are always welcome!


Enrolled with the United States Treasury Department to practice before the IRS, governed by rules stipulated in United States Treasury Circular 230. As a Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner and a tax appeals specialist my Enrolled Agent License #85353 is issued by the United States Treasury. With this license I work for U.S. taxpayers everywhere to resolve tax matters and de-escalate stress about taxes or tax disputes for individuals and corporations with federal and state issues.

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