What to Do If You Lost Your W-2 Form

Don’t panic. Even though W-2 is probably the most important document for filing your tax returns, there are handle the situation if you believe that your W-2 form was lost on its way to your residence (this makes an perfect argument to your W-2 delivered to you electronically).  If that turns out to be the case, then you can follow the these steps below from the IRS in case your W-2 is missing. And even if the W-2 is indeed lost, you still have to file your return.

So here what you can do:

1. Contact your employer If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.

2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by February 16th, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city and state, including zip code, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:

  • Employer’s name, address, city and state, including zip code and phone number
  • Dates of employment
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and when you worked for that employer during 2009. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

3. File your return You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file by April 18, 2011, which is the deadline to file your 2010 federal income tax returns this year, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by April 18th, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

4. File a Form 1040X On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Form 4852, Form 1040X, and instructions are available on the IRS Web site or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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