Help! My W-2 is Missing!


Tax Advice from The Ellem Group, Houston, TX, Beaumont, Tx

   I’d like to thank The Ellem Group for today’s guest post. The Ellem Group serves Beaumont & Houston in the areas of professional tax prep, business tax filings, bookkeeping, retirement planning, and more.

   Missing information is a very common problem with income tax filings, and losing a W-2 can get you in a whole lot of trouble. Read on and find out what to do if your W-2 never comes in the mail, or if it does and you lose it.   


What is a W-2?

When you work as an employee, your employer is required to report your income and the taxes withheld from your pay to the Internal Revenue Service. Your payroll information is reported using Form W-2, Wage & Tax Statement.

Your employer is also required to give you a copy of your W-2, usually by the end of January. You must have your W-2’s in order to file your income tax return accurately.

Situations do arise that cause missing W-2’s. The company you work for may have gone out of business and failed to mail out W-2’s. An incorrect address could have been typed on your W-2. Mail can be lost in the postal system, or mis-routed and delivered to another mailbox across town. Your mail could be stolen out of your mailbox by a thief looking for checks or personal information.

My W-2 is Missing!

If you haven’t received your W-2 by mid-February, here’s what you should do:

Contact your employer! Ask your employer (or former employer) for a copy of your W-2. Be sure that they have your correct mailing address. Ask if company policy allows them to email or fax you a copy of your W-2.

My Employer Won’t Give Me My W-2!

Do this after February 23:  If you can’t get a copy of your W-2 from your employer, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 after Feb. 23. The IRS will send a letter to your employer on your behalf.

You’ll need the following information when you call the IRS:

  1. Your name, address, Social Security number, and phone number
  2. Your employer’s name, address, and phone number
  3. The dates you worked for the employer, and
  4. An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in 2014. You can use your final pay stub for these amounts.
Will a Missing W-2 Keep Me From Filing Taxes?

Your 2014 individual income tax return is due on or before April 15, 2015. Use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, if you don’t get your W-2 in time to file. Estimate your wages and taxes withheld as best as you can. The IRS may need more time to process your return while it verifies your information.

If you can’t finish your tax return by the due date, you can ask for more time to file. Get an extra six months by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

You can also e-file a request for more time. You can do this for free with IRS Free File.

The Wrong W-2 Information Is On My Tax Return. What Now?

You may need to correct your tax return if you get your missing W-2 after you file. If the tax information on the W-2 is different from what you originally reported, you may need to file an amended tax return. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to make the change.

Missing info not reported on your tax return can quickly turn into a tax nightmare in a number of different ways. The IRS will find the error, and may charge you penalties and interest, or take other enforcement actions. The IRS may decide you committed fraud or tax evasion. Many variables can cause your tax problems to quickly escalate out of your control.

Don’t take chances when it comes to your tax return filings. No tax problem is too small for us to handle. Call our tax specialist today – we will take over so you can sleep at night. We can help you file your income tax return, or file the forms needed to obtain your W-2 information, or speak to the IRS on your behalf.

Call today! The Ellem Group 409-347-7997



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