Taxpayers, take notice! The filing date of May 17, 2021 for your 2020 tax return is approaching fast. Before you file your 2020 tax return, make certain you have all the required documents for the return, particularly the 2020 Form W-2 from your employer(s). Each year, by law, you should receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement from each employer you worked for during the prior year. Employers are required to send the Form W-2 earnings statement to all active and former employees no later than January 31, 2021.  

What if you never received a Form W2 from your employer? The last thing anyone should do is make a big mistake by not including all income on the return. Failure to report W2 wages is a surefire trigger to getting audited by the IRS or the State Taxation and Revenue Department. Telling the IRS, “I didn’t receive a W-2” is not an allowable reason for not reporting the income. 

Take the following measures if you have not obtained your 2020 Form W-2 from your employer:

Reach Out to Your Employer – Take immediate action and correspond with your employer by phone, email, and letter and ask if your 2020 Form W-2 was mailed out. If it was mailed, when did they mail it? Verify the mailing address they have on file for you during any correspondence. If your listed address on file was wrong and you did not have a forwarding order on file with the Post Office, your W-2 would have been returned to the employer. Ask them to update your address in their system and ask them to mail it to you immediately. If the address in the employer’s system is correct, ask them to mail your W-2 to you again. To put it bluntly, you need it to file your taxes. 

Reach Out to the IRS – Make a bold move and correspond with the IRS if you have not received your W-2 by February 15. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040.   

When you correspond with the IRS about your missing W-2, you will be required to give them your personal information including your name, physical address, city, state, zip code, Social Security Number, and telephone number. 

Prepare for the call beforehand by having the information the IRS will need regarding your employer and your job by including the following information: employer name, address, and telephone number; your dates of employment; wages paid, and federal income taxes withheld. You can use your final paystub for the amounts. The IRS will reach out to the employer and request a Substitute W-2. Ideally, the figures you provide them for wages and federal income taxes should come from your final pay stub from 2020. 

File your 2020 Tax Return – Despite not receiving your 2020 Form W-2, by law you are required to file your 2020 tax return or file Form 4868 electronically to file an extension. After going through the suggested measures listed above and you still have not received your Form W-2, you can use Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement to file your 2020 tax return. Be sure to electronically include your completed Form 4852 with your return. Do your best to complete Form 4852 as precisely as possible with the correct amounts for your 2020 income and withheld taxes. Be aware there may be a hold up on your pending tax refund because the IRS is going to confirm the accuracy of the information you provided on the Form 4852 you submitted with the tax return.  

File Form 1040-X If You Receive Your W-2 After Filing Your 2020 Tax Return – You may receive your Form W-2 subsequently to filing your 2020 tax return with Form 4852. If the numbers for income and taxes withheld are different than the ones you filled out on Form 4852, you will need to file an amended tax return. You do this with Form 1040-X. 

Email or Give Us a Call

If you need help with tax problems like the one described here or other problems as well, The Becerra Group can help. Call us at 505-462-9090 (NM) or 830-254-4708 (TX), or click here and complete our online contact form. We are here to serve all your tax, accounting, and bookkeeping needs.