No W-2 – What Do I Do?

You worked for a company, it folded, and now you’re out a W-2. Or so you think. Your place of business has until January 31st to send out your W-2, and it won’t be considered officially “late” until after February 15th comes and goes. In other words, if you’re waiting now, you’ll have to keep waiting for another couple of weeks. Don’t panic if your former employer goes under, though. Sometimes, a trustee will be set up in bankruptcy court to handle all the details (like the sending out of W-2s!), but ultimately, W-2 forms are the business’ former owners’ responsibility.

But let’s say you can’t get hold of anyone to send you out your final W-2. What do you do?

Well, you have a number of options. The best and easiest solution is to go through your paystubs and find the data from your final paycheck. All your deductions – FICA, medical, Federal, state, etc. – will be listed somewhere on the stub. 99.9% of those will keep a running total of the total amounts, thereby solving your problem. If you don’t have either available, it’s time to get on the phone to the IRS and listen to some “On Hold” musak.

If you’re up against the wall waiting for your W-2s, you have until the 15th of April to file for an extension. Remember, though – your extension gives you extra time to file, but it doesn’t give you extra time to pay if you owe the IRS a red cent. This is one that catches many tax payers by surprise, year after year.

Finally, if you’re ever in doubt, call the IRS and ask for the definitive answer straight from the source.

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