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What to do if you don't get a W-2

Start by contacting your employer. If that doesn't work, call the IRS. Even if you never get the form, you still have to file on time.

By Teresa Mears Jan 19, 2012 7:48PM

You may be ready to file your federal and state income tax returns, but you can't do it until you receive all your documents.

 

For those who are employees, the most important document is the W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which lists your income for the past year and the amount of taxes withhold. If you're filing a paper return, you must attach the W-2s from each employer, and if you're filing your return electronically, you need the information from the form.

 

Employers have until Jan. 31 to mail your W-2. If you haven't seen yours by early February, you should take steps to track it down. You need one from each employer.

 

The IRS advises that you: (Post continues below video.)

  • Contact your employer. Make sure the employer has your correct address, and ask for another copy to be mailed.
  • If you don't receive your W-2 by Feb. 14, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. Be prepared to provide your name, address and Social Security number plus information about your employer and an estimate of your wages and withholding for the previous year.
  • File your taxes by April 17, even if you never receive a W-2. You will need to fill out and attach Form 4852, the substitute for the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement. To fill out the form, you'll need to know how much you earned and how much tax was withheld. Usually that information is on your last pay stub of the year.

If you file your taxes with Form 4852 rather than a W-2 form, the IRS may take longer to process your return, because the agency has to verify the information you provided about pay and withholding.

 

If you receive your W-2 form after you filed your return and discover that you made a mistake in your wage or tax-withholding estimate, you will need to file an amended return.

 

More information available on this IRS tax tip sheet. It has last year's dates, but all the information except the dates applies this year.

 

More from MSN Money:

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

17Comments
Feb 1, 2012 2:01PM
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If you don't receive your W-2, 95% of the time it is because you didn't update your address with your current or former employer when you moved.
Feb 1, 2012 2:23PM
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Hey EAGLE TAX, judging by the thumbs down, your pitch for business on here has flopped. And really, if you need to go to MSN blogs and pitch for business, your business is a FAILURE. Time to pack it in.
Feb 1, 2012 3:05PM
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best thing about retirement , no w 2 or employer
Feb 1, 2012 4:58PM
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Hey qwert987,

Did you actually consider the comment you made a suitable one, that applies to everyone? Obviously you seem to think you are a superior human being to be able to get another job in just 3 weeks. Congratulations! If you have seen any news on the economy or had any  any compassion or understanding beyond the end of your own nose, you may realize, like my husband who is a retired veteran and spent every single day for hours each day for 9 months on the internet not whining but trying desperately to find a job, there are a lot of very good people trying very hard to not become homeless. I very much resent your flippant, very uniformed and juvenile comment. I assure you LAZINESS is not the problem, people like you are. Karma is a *itch, you may be homeless yourself one day, and someone will call you lazy, oh but could never happen to you, right??? The homeless out there now ,I am sure thought they never would be either. You must have lived a very protected life, and not had to sacrifice anything for anyone including your country.  

Feb 1, 2012 4:05PM
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I understand that Alabama has a lot of jobs availiable, low pay minimun wage, hard work, US citizenship or green card required....
Feb 1, 2012 10:31PM
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Hey Sydney,

Try this on for size:

This Bush bashing is pathetic.

We had Obama for almost 4 years in office, he tore this country apart economically and politically during his time in office. Appointing inept "friends" into federal positions they weren't qualified for, and this country went to sh*t on his watch.  After all he has helped maintain an actual unemployment rate of 14%. But his friends at the unions, GM, Goldman Sachs, and numerous insurance companies aren't feeling any pain at all. Look closely because he alone has contributed to over 33% to the national debt in just over 3 years and that is since 1776. Go ahead and bow down at the feet of BO, you and your ilk have been soooo mislead, like Alan Parsons so aptly put it " I don't care what you do, I wouldn't want to be like you" amen.

Feb 1, 2012 2:28PM
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Maybe you have a jerk for a prior boss, and even tho everything that was mailed from him over a 4 year period made it to you, something happens, he mails it on the 31st, and you never will receive it. Present employees received theirs the 15th with their pay, but no past employees have received theirs yet.

Feb 1, 2012 2:58PM
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Hey FedupwithLiberals729...Your GOP will make you pay thru the nose for more corporate welfare when they exempt corporate tax in your state when you finally get a job and a brain. Do you really think they will save you? They just know you are ignorant of the facts and they are doing everything to keep you out of work and dont have any ideas except low wages,more tax breaks for wealthy and reduced health benefits. They are the reason why we our country is in the dumps now. They might find you a job without benefits at minimum wage picking corn somewhere though. Thats your future with your saviors.  

Feb 2, 2012 2:50AM
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Why can't all the People that think Obama made all this Mess just Grow Up and Face the Facts.  George W. Bush MADE the Mess, Served TWO terms where he should have Never Gotten elected the 2nd term and maybe not even the 1st Term.

  The MESS was handed over For Obama OR who ever took over the Office. The USA People allowed bush to get a 2nd term, How Pathetic ! With all the MESS in Florida during Voting in his BROTHERS State of all places to mess things up that way. Florida should have Re-Voted or their Votes not even Counted.  Wasn't that at a time we were  Showing other Countries how Democracy Worked  ?  Oh Boy did we put on a show for them. FIX THE VOTE How they thought was the Right Way .. LOL  ... what ever happened to all those Messed up Votes ? Yep they were transferred across the Country, probably ended up sitting in some warehouse. Those Votes were never Recounted, tucked away long enough until the American People forgot about them , and long enough to Let George W Bush take the office again.

 

Quit Blaming Obama for what Mess was handed to him and give him credit for what he has fixed, Bush Screwed every thing up in 2 Terms, how could ANYONE fix a mess like that in One Term in Office.

 

Then start paying Congress ONLY for the Days they WORK and get something Accomplished ! Congress is Pathetic !  Paid for not being there, Paid for taking Vacations . Paid just because , Most People who go to work and sit on their **** and do nothing for days and weeks just Don't Get Paid for a days work.    FIX IT ! 

 

Give Obama the same Chance George W Bush got. Like Bush becoming RICHER in office and not Caring how things were when he left office,  he got paid GOOD for all the Oil prices going UP UP and Away , when he could have Stopped that Gouging

Feb 1, 2012 5:36PM
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This Obama bashing is pathetic.

 

We had Bush for eight years in office, he tore this country apart economically and politically during his time in office.  Appointing inept "friends" into feeral positions they weren't qualified for, and this country went to sh*t on his watch.  Blaming the next in line who has had half the time in office to clean up the mess, shows a lack in judgement and intelligence.

 

It is nothing short of a witch hunt.

 

A handful of people can tear down a house in just a few hours....How long do you think it takes to rebuild that house with just a handful of people?

 

You expect miracles!    Unless you have performed some miracles of your own, you should just keep your mouth shut.  It just shows your judgemental personality, and your ignorance as to how anything works.

 

If you want to put your blame somewhere, put it on the big wuss who went AWOL from the Coast Guard!  A complete loser without honor.

 

JMHO

Feb 1, 2012 3:56PM
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Hey qwert987, how people supposed to get a experience if employers won't hire them? I've actually taken steps to look for jobs. I've had interviews and I've been calling places and they don't do anything. I actually called Stop & Shop quite a few times and went up there and spoke with them and they didn't do anything and they actually could have hired me. To workingliberal, Obama did **** for the economy/stockmarket. And I think conservatives are what this country needs. Its not the conservatives up for the rich. Thats Liberals!!!
Feb 1, 2012 2:21PM
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I think an alarming percentage of readers, like myself, do NOT get a W-2 this year, because we are unemployed!!!!!

Yet another irrelavant article by MSN, anything to escape reality to enable your Saviour Odumbo winning again in November.

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hey guys/gals,

has anyone in the tax industry filed a tax return for PAN HANDLERS?, I DID IT AND GOT THE FAMILY'S TAX REFUND, THEY GOT THEIR FORECLOESD DEAL HOME AND I GOT THEM JOB AT WAL MART..MY PAN HANDLERS KEPT THE RECORD IN THE SMALL POCKET DIARY..I FILED IT AND THEY GOT THEIR TAXES BACK ON PAN HANDLING..THEY BOUGHT THE USED CAR AND HAPPY NOW...THEY SAID WE DO NOT HAVE TO RELY ON GOVT ANYMORE...NO MORE FOOD STAMPS.. AND HAPPY FOREVER..

THAT'S WHAT WE FOR POOR PEOPLE AT AM EAGLE TAX SERVICE,OCALA,FL SINCE 1982...AUDIT FREE TAXATION..

THANK YOU READERS..GOD BLESS U.S.OF AAAAAAAAAAAAAA...............

D.J.PATEL

Feb 1, 2012 7:01PM
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I have no problem with taxes.  I have not paid taxes in over 20 years.  I let the sheep pay their taxes.  Me, I realize its all one big illegal bluff system created in 1913 by the same jackasses that brought america the FED.  Ron Paul will fix all that when he gets elected.  Meantime don't hold your breath for any tax money from me.  I won't finance your bogus wars and brain dead sheep that go along with ANYTHING.
Feb 1, 2012 3:40PM
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The reason so many readers don't have a job is they spend all day whining on the internet over looking.  I was laid off my job 2 days before xmas.  I had a new job in 3 weeks with a 15K a year pay raise.  The job market is only bad for the people with no skills or that are lazy.
Feb 1, 2012 2:46PM
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Instead of complaining maybe you should be on career builder looking for employment,then thank President Obama for the improved economy,stockmarket Ect; no thanks to conservative congress!!!!!!

Jan 22, 2012 6:35PM
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Got TAX Problems? Contact the professionals at EAGLE TAX. We are open year round, service nationwide and will assist you with back taxes.

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