Form W-2 is used by employers to report wage, salary, and other compensation paid to employees. Employees then use their Form W-2 to file their federal income tax returns. Since employees count on their W-2 to file a return, employers must furnish all employees with a W-2 by January 31st.
Form W-2—Wage and Tax Statement includes more than just the income paid to the employee. It also shows both federal and state taxes withheld. Here is where you can find the taxes withheld on Form W-2.
Federal income tax withheld: Box 2
State income tax withheld: Box 17
From there on, you can estimate your tax return even before you file a tax return. If you haven’t gotten your W-2 by January 31st, there are a couple of things you can do.
What to do when employer doesn’t give W-2?
In a situation where your W-2 isn’t issued to you by January 31st, you should contact your employer first. If you can’t get ahold of your employer, contact the payroll department of the company you’re working at. If it seems like you’re not going to be getting your Wage and Tax Statement anytime soon, the best you can do is to file a Form 4852.
This tax form is the substitute form for the W-2. The same way you use W-2, you can use Form 4852 to file your federal income tax return. Take note that you will need your last pay stub to file Form 4852. Without it, you won’t be able to file Form 4852. Don’t have your last pay stub? Contact your employer and ask for it. Since your W-2 is late, they should at least provide you with your last pay stub.
Overall, Form 4852 shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete. We recommend filling out a 4852 as a last resort. Since the penalty for not furnishing employees with W-2 increases over time, your employer is likely to give you one as soon as possible.