What to do if you haven't received your W-2 statement yet

For U.S. workers, the W-2 return may be the most familiar form of IRS tax filing. It also shows your total payroll and the amount of tax withheld for the previous year, making it one of the most important pieces of information when filing your annual tax return.

This story is part of 2024 taxesCNET covers the best tax software, tax tips, and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

Most full-time and part-time employees must receive a W-2 from their employer before completing their income tax return. tax seasonand businesses have until January 31st to provide them to employees, but that comes and goes.

Below, we'll break down everything you need to know about W-2 forms. What a W-2 form is, what it says, when to receive it, and what to do if you don't receive your W-2 form. Employer.

CNET Tax Tips Logo

For more information, see the best tax software for filing in 2024, how to scan important tax documents using your phone, and everything you need to know about the 2024 child tax credit.

What is a W-2 form?

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement is an official record of the previous year's wages and taxes withheld.

This IRS form can also include the following information:

  • Tips and other forms of compensation.
  • Contributions to a retirement plan such as a 401(k).
  • Contributions to Health Savings Accounts.
  • Cost of medical benefits.

Whether you pay your taxes on paper or on your computer, phone or professional tax accountantYou must use the information on Form W-2 to complete your return.

What information does the W-2 form contain?

Screenshot of 2022 W-2 form Screenshot of 2022 W-2 form

Although Box 9 still appears on W-2 forms, it is no longer used by the IRS.

Screenshot by IRS/CNET

Here's a quick breakdown of all the boxes and data on your W-2.

Boxes A-F: The text boxes at the top and left side of the form contain identifying information for both you and your employer, such as business name, address, social security number, and employer tax identification number. (The “control number” is simply a unique ID to identify her W-2 within the employer's system.)

box 1 and 2: These two boxes contain the most important information for most taxpayers. That is, the total amount of wages, tips, and other compensation plus the total amount of federal income taxes withheld during the year.

Boxes 3-6: These boxes show how much of your income is subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as how much tax you paid on both.

boxes 7 and 8: If you were compensated in tips, these two boxes show the amount of tip income you reported and the amount of tips your employer reported paying you.

box 9: Don't worry about box 9 being mysteriously grayed out. This was previously used to report earned credit advances. This tax benefit ended in 2010, but there are still spots left.

Boxes 10 and 11: Box 10 shows the dependent care benefits you received, and Box 11 includes deferred compensation.

box 12: This box contains additional compensation or reductions in taxable income, and 28 items can be included here, each designated by a one-letter or two-letter code. Some of these codes are required to be included on your tax return, while others are for informational purposes only.

box 13: The three options here represent income that is not subject to federal tax. This can be money earned through employer-sponsored retirement plans (such as a 401(k) account), third-party sick pay (such as private insurance), or as a statutory employee.

box 14: This box acts as a wrap-up for employers to report additional tax information such as tuition assistance and union dues. Employers can also include certain state and local taxes here.

One common item in Box 14 is the payment of state disability insurance premiums, which are deductible for some taxpayers.

Box 15-20: The box at the bottom of the W-2 form displays income and withholding data for the tax year related to state taxes. This section also includes the employer's state ID number.

When will I receive my Form W-2?

Form W-2 should be received by the following deadlines January 31, 2024. At this time, the employer is required by law to provide every employee and her W-2 to the IRS.

Many companies still send W-2 forms by mail, but many also make them available online. W-2 forms may be provided by a third party that processes your company's payroll, such as ADP or Gusto.

What if I can't get a W-2?

If you haven't received your form yet by the end of January, first check to make sure your employer hasn't emailed you instructions on how to access your W-2 form online. According to IRS Publication 15A, if an employee opts in, an employer can provide an electronic version of her W-2 form (be sure to check in case the email ends up in your spam or junk mail folder). please).
If you do not have the form and have not been sent instructions, contact your human resources or payroll department to inquire about the status of your W-2. You can also contact us if you have lost your W-2.

If your employer is not cooperative, contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. The agency contacts the employer and requests her missing W-2 form.
The IRS recommends waiting until the end of February to see if your W-2 arrives before contacting the IRS. To verify your identity, you will need to have some information ready.

  • Your legal name, address, social security number, and telephone number.
  • Employer's name, address, and telephone number.
  • Dates you worked for your employer.
  • Estimated payroll and income taxes withheld. (This will appear on your last payslip for the year.)

If you don't receive or can't access your W-2 form by the April 15 tax day, file your tax return using Form 4852, a W-2 replacement that allows you to estimate your income and withholdings. can be submitted. Tax. If you later discover that the information on your return differs from the W-2, you must file an amended return.

You can also request a six-month filing extension, which gives you more time to track down your W-2, by filing Form 4868. If you don't think you owe taxes, you don't have to pay anything. If you owe taxes, you must pay the estimated amount when you apply for an extension or you may be subject to penalties later.

For more tax tips, Learn when you can get your 2024 tax refund and the fastest way to get your refund this year.

Leave a Comment