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Where is my W-2?

Updated on February 21, 2008

How can I file my taxes without a W-2?

There are thousands of people who do not dread this time of year but, in fact, look forward to it. We are not talking about those who just can't wait to see how winter turns out, but the lucky ones who are expecting, and in most cases needing, a tax refund check. They wait anxiously at their mailboxes at the end of January for all their W-2's to come so the process can begin to isolate, calculate, formulate and estimate exactly how much money they can count on being able to spend in the near future. Imagine the frustration if the form that produces all this frothing expectation fails to arrive.

Even if you are not an ardent tax-time lover, most likely you are still in the category of Americans that expect to receive your tax forms in a timely manner. The W-2 or Wage & Tax Statement is a form that employers are required to send out by January 31, 2008. What should you do if you have not received one by the deadline? What you should NOT do is panic. Not all employers, including some small business owners, are extremely organized and may not send their forms out in time. That does not mean that they won't or that they are holding any kind of grudge against you personally. There is no benefit to them for withholding the W-2's. Here are some things you can do if you have not received your W-2 by Feb. 14th:

  • First, contact the person or business and ask why you have not received your W-2. You will probably be told that it is "in the mail". Have you moved? Don't assume that your former employer knows how to reach you. It could have been delivered to the wrong address or returned. Give it a couple of weeks to reach you.
  • If you don't get any results, you can call the I. R. S. for help. They are more than interested in knowing about companies that may be screwing around with anything related to employee taxes. The number to call is (800) 829-1040.
  • File anyway. Not as easy, but you can probably find old pay stubs around or use your bank statements to check monthly or bi-monthly deposits. Use these to figure your estimated earnings and withholding. Put this on Form 4852, which is a substitue for the W-2. Send Form 4852 along with your tax return.

Hopefully these suggestions will help as you endeavor to achieve the American Dream.......To get as much money with as little effort as possible.


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    • Lola Eden profile image

      Lola Eden 10 years ago from the South

      Very informative. Who knew?

    • profile image

      WaWa3 10 years ago

      Great info....I'll pass it on to my son who are still playing the waiting game.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      This is the right time to do it, to gather all the forms instead of rushing in the end. Thanks for the remainder I plan to do this by this month.