”I Can’t Find My W-2 Form. Can I Still File My Taxes?”

January 10, 2018 : Mike Slack

Employers aren’t required to provide their workers with a copy of their 2017 W-2 Form until January 31, 2018. So, can someone with a missing W-2 form file a tax return before this date using the information shown on their last paycheck stub of 2017?

The answer is… no. You can’t file your tax return with just a pay stub. Unfortunately, you must wait until your employer issues a W-2 form to file your tax return.

 

If You’re Missing Your W-2 Form, You Have Options

Here are a few options if you have a missing W-2 form:

  • Many employers will provide electronic W-2s that can be accessed in early January. Contact the payroll or human resources department at your company for more information.
  • You could also take advantage of H&R Block’s W-2 Early Access. With this service, you can send us an electronic copy of your W-2 form for free and get your refund as soon as possible.

Still Missing a W-2 Form?

What if you haven’t received your W-2 form after January 31? Take the following actions:

  1. Contact your employer to attempt to obtain your W-2.
  2. If you still haven’t received it by February 14, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and provide as much information regarding your situation as possible.
  3. Use your last paycheck stub to give them as much detail as possible. The IRS will send you Form 4852 (an IRS substitute to Form W-2) which you may then use to file your tax return prior to the April 17, 2018 due date.

You may be required to file an amended return if you file your return using the Form 4852 and you do eventually receive a W-2 form with conflicting information reported on it.

For more information, visit your local tax pro or read more tips in the Tax Information Center.

Related Topics

Mike Slack

The Tax Institute, H&R Block

Mike Slack, JD, EA, is a senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Mike leads research teams focused on business and investment tax issues.

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