IRS Can Help Taxpayers Get Form W-2

Most taxpayers got their W-2 Forms by the end of January. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows the income and taxes withheld from an employee’s pay for the year. Taxpayers need it to file an accurate tax return.

If a taxpayer hasn’t received their form by mid-February, here’s what they should do:

  • Contact their Employer. Taxpayers should ask their employer (or former employer) for a copy of their W-2. Be sure the employer has the correct address.
  • Call the IRS. If a taxpayer is unable to get a copy from their employer, they may call the IRS after Feb. 27. The IRS will send a letter to the employer on the taxpayer’s behalf. The taxpayer will need the following when they call:
    • Their name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
    • Their employer’s name, address and phone number;
    • The dates they worked for the employer; and
    • An estimate of their wages and federal income tax withheld in 2016. Use a final pay stub for these amounts.
  • File on Time. Taxpayers should file their tax return by April 18, 2017. If they still haven’t received their W-2, they should use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. They should estimate their wages and taxes withheld as best as possible. To request more time to file, use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File. Taxpayers can also e-file a request for more time. Do it for free using IRS Free File. However, remember, an extension of time to file your return is not an extension of time to pay taxes owed.
  • Correct a Tax Return if Necessary. Taxpayers may need to correct their tax return if they get a missing W-2 after they file. If the tax information on the W-2 is different from what they originally reported, they may need to file an amended tax return. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to make the change.

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

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