Do you need to file your tax return but are missing a W-2?
There is little that is more vexing as you prepare to file your taxes than to realize that your W-2 or 1099 form has gone missing. It might just have gotten shuffled with other papers, in which case you are set for a bout of tedious desk clearing.
Then again, you may never have received it in the first place. Previous and even current employers often fail to observe due diligence when it comes to providing an employee with the necessary tax papers at the end of the tax year. The task of obtaining them can be quite frustrating as a result.
The situation is usually made worse if you are filing a prior year tax return, at which point a company you worked for years ago may simply have ceased to exist.
Although it’s usually assumed that you can’t file your taxes without a W-2 or other income statement, W-2 or 1099 forms are not in fact essential to filing.
For example, you can file IRS Form 4852, which is a substitute for a W-2 or 1099-R, and use it to prepare your tax return. You will need to provide an acceptable estimate of your wages and tax withholding for the year.
But that’s just the problem: it’s bound to remain an estimate however close you get to the exact amounts. You end up with a tax return most likely marred by errors and discrepancies, in which case you would need to file an amended tax return at a later point.
In all cases, it is best to wait for your current year W-2 or reach out again to your employer for it if you haven’t done so already.
Photo via Jeffrey Beall on Flickr.
Tags: missing tax formsThis entry was posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 1:26 pm and is filed under Tax Tips.