Last week, we talked about the deadline that businesses have for sending out W-2 forms to employees (Jan 31). At that time, I suggested that, if you had not received your W-2 yet, to just sit tight and give it through the weekend.
But, today is Monday. The Super Bowl is over. The work week is beginning. And, we’ve all got holiday bills, broken-down cars, and other difficulties to take care of. A Federal tax refund check would be pretty handy right now.
What if your employer has not sent your W-2? What do you do?
What if they sent it, but to the wrong address?
How long do you wait before doing anything at all? When do you call the IRS? And where do you call?
Here are a few quick answers that I hope can at least give you an idea about where to start. I’ve taken these answers straight from the horse’s mouth at IRS.gov. I highly suggest you make that site your first stop for any questions about filing, any forms, etc. It is actually very well-laid-out and helpful. And, it beats trying to call the IRS hotline by a long shot, especially this time of year.
Please note the February 14 date in Step 2 below. Before that date, only call the IRS if you know that your employer is not going to have your W-2s sent. Before that date, the IRS will simply tell you to wait.
Employers have until January 31, 2011 to send you a 2010 Form W-2 earnings statement.
If you haven’t received your W-2, follow these four steps:
1. Contact your employer If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.
2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by February 14th, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city and state, including zip code, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:
• Employer’s name, address, city and state, including zip code and phone number
• Dates of employment
• An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and when you worked for that employer during 2010. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.
3. File your return You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file April 18, 2011, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by the due date, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.
4. File a Form 1040X On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Form 4852, Form 1040X, and instructions are available at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).