Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No W-2? No Problem....? Wait, what?

When I was in college and moving around a lot it wasn't uncommon for me to not receive all my W-2's. Thinking nothing of it, I would file my return without them. Luckily back then I wasn't making enough money for this to be a huge issue.

However, if I did this now, it would be a huge issue. Here's why...

When your employer mails your W-2 it doesn't just go to you. A copy also goes to the IRS. Once April 15th passes, the IRS starts matching up returns to these company-filed W-2's. If the IRS finds W-2's that you didn't report, it will hit you with penalties and interest on that unreported money.

So, what do you do if you don't get all your W-2's? First, understand that it's your responsibility to make sure all of them get to you. If one is missing, contact your employer and ask for a replacement. They are required by law to provide you with these.

If you cannot get a replacement for some reason, use form 4852 to substitute for a W-2. To fill out this form, use your most recent check stub or that last check stub for the filing year you're doing. (Check out this article to understand how to read your paystub) Also, provide the IRS (it can be written) with as much employer info as possible and what you did to get your W-2. Attach this to your return.

Still unclear about making a W-2 replacement or having problems getting a replacement W-2? Sharon Raines did a good post on filing without a W-2.

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