Q. It’s February, and my employer hasn’t sent me my W-2 yet. I’d really like to get filing my taxes over with. My employer said I just have to wait. What can I do?
A. In most cases, W-2 forms arrive by the end of January.
Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows your income and the taxes withheld from your pay for the year. You need your W-2 form to file an accurate tax return, said Joseph Matheson, a certified public accountant with Matheson & Assoc. in Whippany, N.J.
He said your first move is to contact your employer, which you said you did. Make sure they have your correct address so it wasn’t just a mailing error.
If you don’t get it by Feb. 23, you can get help from the Internal Revenue Service.
“Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 after Feb. 23,” Matheson said. “The IRS will send a letter to your employer on your behalf.”
- You’ll need the following when you call:
- Your name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
- Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
- The dates you worked for the employer; and
- An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in 2014. You can use your final pay stub for these amounts.
Your tax return is normally 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,” he said. “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, Matheson said 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, he said.
If you receive your missing W-2 after you file, you may need to make a correction on your return.
“If the tax information on the W-2 is different from what you originally reported, you may need to file an amended tax return,” he said. “Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to make the change.”
Matheson has an important note if you purchased health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You should have received a Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, by early February.
You will need the new form to help you complete an accurate federal tax return.
“You will use the information from the Form 1095-A to calculate the amount of your premium tax credit,” Matheson said. “The form is also used to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit made on your behalf with the amount of premium tax credit that you are eligible to claim.”
If you did not receive your Form 1095-A, you should contact the Marketplace from which you received coverage to get a copy. You are not required to send in proof of health care coverage, including Form 1095-A, to the IRS when filing your tax return. However, it’s a good idea to keep these records on hand to verify coverage, he said.
More on Income Tax:
- How to Protect Yourself from Taxpayer Identity Theft
- Do Unpaid Taxes Affect Your Credit Report?
- Do Taxes Affect Your Credit Score?