When filing your federal tax returns, there are many tax forms that you require, including the W-2. Sadly, sometimes they just don’t seem to arrive when you need them. If you don’t get your W-2s in time, instead of passively sitting back and waiting for the forms to arrive at your home, there are several things you can actively do to help track down them down.
To begin with, try finding out whether the said form was sent or not. It is an IRS requirement that W-2s and 1099s be send out by the employers and vendors before the end of January of every tax year. These forms should be in your mail box by 5th or 6th of February, if you don’t, try finding out the likely causes of the delay.
One of the likely causes of the delay can be a wrong postal address. Did you relocate or change addresses the previous year? If you did move, did you forward the new address to your new employer? If you moved and forgot to change the address with your employer, it is very likely that the form was either returned to the sender or it is still lying in the post office. To track it down, do the following.
- Call your present employer or the previous one, give the new address and request for your W-2 to be sent to your current address. Alternatively, ask if you can download it from the company’s online database.
- Does your employer engage in tax W-2 Express Service? If yes, then it is possible to directly download the W-2 into your return.
- You can also pay about $10 for W-2 service for the form to be generated and sent to you via mail immediately. More information about this service is available on the Missing W-2 and RapidTax websites.
- You can call the IRS via 800-829-1040 (800-TAX 1040) for enquiries. Please note that you should have some details ready before making that call to the IRS on filing of tax returns. Alternatively, use Form 4506-T for electronic copies of the W-2. This option is not ideal if urgency is an issue as it might take a couple of weeks.
What if You Still Don’t Get the W-2?
There are chances that despite following through the listed steps, you still cannot find your W-2. That might not be the main problem, but the likelihood that your employer, who is out of business, is not going to issue the form altogether. In the event of such an eventuality, all you have to do is find your last paystub and enter the required details to Form 4852-Substitute for W-2. By answering all the questions, you can use it instead of a W-2, and is accepted in most states.
If you don’t have your final paystub or it lacks the year-to-date details, you should find a way to make estimates on your withholdings and earnings. Get help from a tax pro like CPAs and Enrolled agents, if you cannot figure it out on your own.