A W-2 is essential for filing taxes, but in the frenzy to collect all the necessary documentation needed to file each year, the form can easily become lost. It’s not uncommon for the forms to get lost in the mail. It’s a very good reason why individuals should have a filing system and not wait until the last minute to file their federal tax return.

Contact the Employer

If the employer has already mailed a W-2 to an employee, the individual can contact their employer, human resources, or the person in charge of payroll to get a duplicate. It’s typically the easiest and fastest way to obtain a duplicate copy. The form may be mailed, but a copy may be able to be immediately supplied.

Online Access

In some instances, employers utilize systems that will allow an individual to access their own information, see their W-2 online, and download a duplicate copy. Employees may be required to contact their employer or the payroll service to get access. If all attempts to obtain a duplicate W-2 from an employer has failed to produce results, it’s time to contact the IRS.

IRS Website

Businesses must also file tax returns. That includes information about employees and their earnings. If the employer has already provided that information to the IRS, individuals may be able to obtain a transcript of the data. Individuals will need to visit the official IRS website, click on “Get Your Tax Record,” and complete the required IRS form online.

Be prepared to answer questions. In addition to the individual’s contact information and employment dates, they’ll have to provide an estimate of their wages and taxes withheld. Employer contact information will also be required.

Alternative Form

Individuals will still be required to file their federal income taxes on time and pay any amount they owe. The IRS has a “Substitute for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement” that can be filed. If a W-2 is received after the person has already filed their taxes and the information is different, an emended tax return must be filed.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!


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