Resolving Issues with IRS Form W-2

It is your employer's responsibility to issue you IRS form W-2. This form reports your wages from that employer. Technically, you must receive all necessary W-2 forms by January 31 following the year you earned your income. The W-2 should contain all of your correct information, and you will be able to use the form to file your taxes. However, sometimes there are errors, and you must take steps to correct those errors in order to file your taxes correctly.

What if I did not Receive a W-2?

Your employer is legally obligated to provide you with a W-2 by January 31 in the year following the year you earned an income. If you do not receive this form on time, contact your employer. It is best to attempt to contact the employer first in order to resolve the issue. However, if February 15 rolls around and you still do not have a W-2, it is time to contact the IRS. Call the IRS to report the issue. Document your phone call in order to show you indeed attempted to resolve the issue.

What if my Former Employer will Not Provide a W-2?

Even if you are no longer employed with a company, that company has a legal obligation to provide you with a W-2. Simply contact the employer to ask for the information; contact the IRS if you are not receiving an appropriate response. It is possible your previous employer has gone out of business. Before it could close its doors, the company should have prepared all of its tax documents for the year, including employee W-2's. Since the company no longer has contact information, contact the IRS directly, and the IRS will contact a representative or legal counsel for the old company.

What if my W-2 is Incorrect?

If you have not yet filed the W-2, you can request a correction directly with your employer. Simply notify them of the incorrect information, and allow them to re-issue a W-2. You will receive a new copy with the correct information, and it may even say "W-2 Corrected." File this form. If you have already filed the W-2 before noticing the error, you will need to file a W-2c. This is the "correction" form for a W-2. Request one from the IRS, your employer or download one online. Fill out the information and file it with the IRS as soon as possible.

What if I forget a W-2?

If you forget to file a W-2, resolve the situation immediately. File the W-2 and pay all applicable taxes. If you meet this year's deadline - April 15 - you will not owe any interest on the missed payment. However, you may owe interest or penalties if you are delayed in sending in your forgotten W-2. You may file a request to waive these fees if you feel you have grounds to do so. You will need to file Form 843. In this form, you will describe why the W-2 was late. You will not receive an abatement without just cause.