Tax Tip: What To Do If You Haven't Received a W-2 Form

Employers must provide employees with a Form W-2 by January 31, 2001 for use in preparing tax returns, according to the IRS. You should receive a separate W-2 for each employer you worked for. Since employers can mail the W-2s as late as January 31, you should allow a few days into February for a mailed form to arrive.

If do not receive your Form W-2, you should first contact your employer and find out if or when the W-2 was mailed. You may not have received your W-2 because of an incorrect or incomplete address, so be sure to verify your address.

If the W-2 was returned to the employer because of an address problem or was not yet issued, allow a reasonable amount of time for the employer to re-mail or issue the W-2. If you still do not receive your W-2, contact the IRS for assistance at 1-800-829-1040, but not before February 15th. When you call the IRS will need the following information:

  • The employer's name and complete address, including zip code, the employer's identification number (if known), and telephone number,
  • Your name, address, including zip code, Social Security number, and telephone number;
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the dates you began and ended employment.
  • If you leave your employer before the end of the year and request your Form W-2, your employer must provide your Form W-2 within 30 days of your request.

    If you do not receive your Form W-2, you still must file your tax return on time. Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax, may be substituted for a missing Form W-2, but this form should only be used if you cannot get a W-2 by your tax filing deadline. If you file your return and attach Form 4852 instead of a W-2, your refund may be delayed while the information you gave us is verified.

    If you receive a corrected W-2 after your return is filed and it does not match the income or withheld tax you reported on your return, you must file an amended return.

    View more tax tips!


    This daily Tax Tip has been provided by the IRS

    You may like these other stories...

    Did you know that the tax code allows you to claim tax deductions for household damage caused by thefts, vandalism, fires, floods, hurricanes, and others kinds of casualties? But the law imposes several restrictions.Relief...
    Inversions: Loophole Is the ProblemJacob J. Lew, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that "the system has become full of inefficiencies and special-interest loopholes. That...
    School tax breaks get House support as Democrats objectRichard Rubin of Bloomberg reported that the House of Representatives on Thursday voted to expand and simplify tax breaks for education as Republicans continue to pass...

    Upcoming CPE Webinars

    Jul 31
    In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
    Aug 5
    This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
    Aug 20
    In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
    Aug 21
    Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.