Your employer should have issued your Form W-2 to you by January 31, according to the federal deadline.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Your employer should have issued your Form W-2 to you by January 31, according to the federal deadline. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)


As the April 18 tax filing deadline approaches, you may be looking for your Form W-2.

Taxpayers can file their taxes since late January, and your employer should have issued your Form W-2 by January 31, according to federal deadlines.

But what if you can’t find your W-2? Maybe you lost it, or maybe your employer never sent it.

The W-2 is one of the main forms you’ll need to file your taxes accurately, so you’ll need to find it or get another copy.

Here’s how.

What is a W-2 form?

A Form W-2, or Wage and Tax Statement, is a form completed by your employer that lists the money paid to you during a year, as well as income taxes, security social or health insurance which have been retained.

The IRS indicates that every employer who pays wages for services performed by employees must complete a W-2 form for each employee whose:

Income, Social Security, or Medicare tax was withheld.

Income tax would have been withheld if the employee had claimed only one withholding or had not claimed exemption from withholding on Form W-4, the Withholding Certificate of the employee.

In short, if you were employed in 2021, earning income for your work, and had some form of tax withheld from your pay, your employer most likely should have filed a W-2 form listing your wages and taxes. .

When are W-2 forms sent in 2022?

Employers have been given a federal deadline of January 31, 2022 to distribute W-2 forms to employees.

You should have received your form electronically or by mail before, on or shortly after this date, although the IRS says you generally shouldn’t be concerned unless it’s past the end of February and that you did not receive it.

I received a W-2 form, but I lost it. What do I do?

It’s been a few months since employers should have sent employees their W-2 forms for this year’s tax return, so you may have misplaced your hard copy.

If you received a W-2 and then lost it, you must first contact your employer. If they sent you one to start with, they should be able to send you another, either by mail or electronically. Be sure to provide the correct mailing address if they mail it.

If your employer says they are unable to provide another copy of your W-2, you must contact the IRS by calling 800-829-1040. Make sure you have your name, address, social security number, and phone number handy, as well as your employer’s name, address, and phone number and the dates you worked for them. him. It will also be helpful to have your employer identification number handy.

A due note: If you just realized you lost your W-2 and your employee needs to mail another copy or you had to contact the IRS to get a new one, you may not receive it in time. to file by the April 18 deadline. You may need to apply for an extension while you wait for your new W-2, but you should do so before the April 18 deadline.

I never received a W-2 form. What do I do?

If you never received a W-2 form from your employer, you should first try to contact them to get one.

Make sure they have your correct mailing address so the form goes to the right place.

But if the end of February has passed (as it is now, as we are less than a week away from the deadline) and you still have not received the form, you will need to contact the IRS. The IRS will try to contact your employer or payer and request the missing form.

To contact the IRS, call 800-829-1040 or make an appointment with an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Make sure you have on hand:

Your name, address, social security number and telephone number

The name, address and telephone number of your employer

The dates you worked for the employer

An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in the year for which you are filing taxes (in 2022, you are filing taxes for 2021). You can use your final pay stub for the year to calculate these amounts.

However, it may take a while for the W-2 to reach you — and with the tax deadline fast approaching, you likely won’t receive your 2021 W-2 in time to file it in time.

Without a W-2, you may need Form 4852 or Form 4868

If you don’t receive your W-2 on time, the IRS offers two options for filing your taxes:

File your return by the April 18 deadline, but use Form 4852, the substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Return. You will need to estimate your wages and source deductions as well as possible. Using your pay stubs should help.

File an extension of your taxes using Form 4868. You must file for an extension by the April 18 tax filing deadline, or you could face penalties for failing to file.

To note: If you receive your W-2 after filing a replacement form and the information on the forms differs, you will need to file an amended tax return using Form 1040X.

This story was originally published April 12, 2022 1:26 p.m.

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Korie Dean is a reporter with The News & Observer’s service journalism team. She is a graduate of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill and a lifelong North Carolina.