The Complete Guide to the W-2 Form [INFOGRAPHIC]

January 10, 2013 : Matthew Staub - Past Contributor

‘Tis the season for W-2 Forms to arrive in your mailbox! We’ve been seeing quite a few questions about how to read a W-2 on our Facebook page; here are some quick & simple answers to the most common:

Do I really need my W-2 Form to file my taxes?

Yes, you need your W-2 to file taxes. You cannot file your taxes using your last pay stub; you must have your W-2 form. However, you can estimate your refund, prepare for your appointment and come into an office to get started on your taxes using information from your last pay stub — but you cannot file without the information on your W-2 form.

When will my W-2 Form arrive?

Employers are typically required to issue Form W-2 by January 31st. If you have moved or have concerns about the form getting to you, contact your employer as soon as possible to ensure your information is up to date. With the first day of filing season pushed back to January 30th, there’s a good chance you’ll receive your W-2 by the time you need it.

You may also be able to have an electronic copy your W-2 sent to an H&R Block office so we can have it ready for you when you come in for your appointment — visit W-2 Early Access to find out if your employer participates.

What do I do if I don’t receive my W-2 Form?

If you have not received your W-2 by the end of January, contact your employer to find out if and when the W-2 was mailed.
If you do not receive your W-2, you may then contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. From there, you will follow the steps listed here on IRS.gov.

What information is on my W-2 Form?

Check out the graphic below for a guided tour of the W-2.

Click image to see a larger version

Like this infographic? Use the code below to embed it on your site:

Related Topics

Avatar

Matthew Staub - Past Contributor

Matt is a social media strategist and past blog contributor. He's a lover of cities, travel, mass transit, bicycles, food, and beer.

Related Resources

Does The Early 401k Withdrawal Penalty Apply?

Does the early 401k withdrawal penalty apply if it was your only source of income for the year? Learn more and get tax answers at H&R Block.

Tax Changes for 2017 | H&R Block

Mileage, depreciation and retirement contributions are just a few of the tax updates for 2017. Learn more about 2017 tax changes from the IRS with H&R Block

What Is a W-4 Tax Form?

The W-4 Form is the IRS document you complete for your employer to determine how much should be withheld from your paycheck for federal income taxes and sent to the IRS. Accurately completing your W-4 will help you avoid overpaying your taxes throughout the year or owing a large balance at tax time.

Payment Plan

Learn about IRS payment plans, also called installment agreements. Get insight from H&R Block on the options you may have if you can't pay your tax bill.