4 Steps to Take if You Receive an Incorrect W2

  • All employees should have received a copy of their W2s by the beginning of February.  If you have not received yours yet, then you should call your employer and request a copy immediately.  By law, employers have until the end of January to mail out copies of W2s to employees.  Failure to comply with the W2 filing requirements and deadline can lead to hefty fines and penalties for employers.

    Follow the steps below if you have not received your W2 or if you have received an incorrect W2.

    1. Contact the employer to find out, if and when, it was mailed.  If you changed your address, or an incorrect address was listed on the W2, then the W2 may have been returned to the employer as undeliverable.  Make arrangements to have it picked up or mailed to the correct address.
    2. If after a few days, you still have not received it, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.  The IRS will ask for your name, SS number, address and phone number.  You will also need to provide them with your employer’s name, phone number address, dates of employment and an estimate of your wages for the year.  Usually, you can find this information on the last pay stub you received.
    3. You are still required to file a tax return and report this income before the tax filing deadline (April 18, this year) regardless of whether you received a W2 or have an incorrect W2.  The IRS has form 4852, than can be used as a substitute for the W2, but only after you have contacted your employer and the IRS.  Fill out form 4852, estimating your income and withholding taxes.  You can use your last pay stub for the basis for your wage and income tax withholding estimates.
    4. After your tax returns has been filed, it is possible you will receive the missing W2 or a corrected W2.  If this information is different than the amount listed on form 4852, that was filed with your taxes, you will have to do an amended return to reflect the correct amount listed on the W2.

    As a taxpayer, you are responsible for reporting all income to the IRS.  Not receiving a W2 is not an valid reason to not report the income.   Employers are forced to pay hefty fines and penalties for not sending out W2 information and reporting its employees’ wages to the IRS.  Eventually, they will report your income.  If the IRS cannot match the income you reported on your tax return to what your employer reported to the IRS, you will receive a an IRS notice detailing the additional taxes you owe plus penalties and interest.

    Visit our personal tax preparation or corporate tax preparation page to see how we can asssit you with your tax preparation this year.