When Do W-2 Forms Get Sent Out?

by Angie Mohr ; Updated January 06, 2018
An employer is required to send Form W-2 to all employees after the end of the year.

If you worked for an employer during the year, your W-2 form is vital for doing your taxes, as it contains details on your gross earnings, federal and state taxes withheld during the year, and 401k and other deductions. By law, all employers are required to provide this form to their employees, even if the employer is no longer in business. If you don't get your form, you can usually get a copy from your employer, but if you don't you may have to contact the IRS. Of course, you still have to file your taxes with the IRS with or without that form.

Employer's Deadline

Employers are required by the IRS to either hand-deliver or mail Form W-2 to all current and former employees by January 31st of the following year. This does not mean that you will necessarily receive it by the 31st. The employer just has to get it into the mail by then. This deadline allows employees ample time to prepare their personal income tax returns. Even employers who have gone out of business must still prepare the forms but may choose to distribute them earlier in the year.

Getting a Form W-2

If you have not received a copy of your Form W-2 by February 15th, the first step to tracking it down is to speak with your employer. Find out if they were handed out or mailed and on what date. Ask your employer for a duplicate copy. If you are not able to contact a former employer or it refuses to issue you a Form W-2, contact the IRS after February 15th with as much information as you have about the employer, including operating and legal name, EIN and address. Provide them with as much information as you can from your pay stubs, such as total gross wages and taxes withheld. If you get close to the tax deadline and still have not received your W-2, use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2 and fill out all of the information from your pay stubs.

Charges for a Duplicate

Occasionally, an employer will charge a nominal amount to issue a duplicate W-2 if an employee has lost or misplaced the original. This is perfectly legal and compensates the employer for the trouble of producing a copy. It also puts the onus on the employee to take care of the form. However, if your employer wants to charge you a large sum of money for the W-2, and you are certain that you did not receive an original, call the IRS to report the situation.

Errors on W-2s

If you review your Form W-2 and find an error when you compare it to your pay stubs or other records, bring the error to the attention of your employer immediately. Make a manual correction on your copy of the W-2 and give that to the employer. It must file a W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the SSA and the IRS. You cannot simply file what you think the numbers should be if the employer does not provide you with a corrected copy. If the employer refuses to correct the information, call the IRS after February 15th to report the situation.

References

About the Author

Angie Mohr is a syndicated finance columnist who has been writing professionally since 1987. She is the author of the bestselling "Numbers 101 for Small Business" books and "Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar." She is a chartered accountant, certified management accountant and certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Photo Credits

  • tax forms image by Chad McDermott from
bibliography-icon | raiffeisen-cards.ru icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

Related pages


ebt cash withdrawal atmfailed adoption tax creditaverage mileage per year motorcyclehow to transfer a property deed from a deceased relativewhere to cash a cashier checksamsclub auctionssidetrack agreement insurancelta rules indiastockholder equity calculatorsavings bond calculationunrealized gain loss calculationsan bernardino county recorder fees8863 credit limit worksheetbifurcated loanzero coupon bond yield calculatorbuy structured settlementshow to send usps money orderhow to make a settlement offer to a collection agencydo parking tickets affect insurancewells fargo visa gift cardco borrower mortgage tax deductioncash motelssalvation army toronto donationsfranchise tax board offer in compromisecolorguard scholarshipsbuy municipal bonds onlineload prepaid debit card with credit cardfed wh taxarthroscopic knee surgery costsocial security burial expensesair national guard rankswhat does hud owned meanoptometrist cost without insurancecostco puerto vallarta mexicotaxes oasdihow to determine savings bond valuetake home pay calculator florida salarywho is the grantee and who is the grantorhow do i qualify for hudpaypal aba routing numbercalculate yearly salary from hourly raterelocation assistance short salegoodwill in olathe ksgross salary ytdcan i use a 1040ezlife expectancy table irssample hoa budgetlimits on charitable deductionsaverage pay of a cosmetologistaffordable christian collegesusing 401k to purchase homefiling ssi disabilityradioshack w2 requestreconveyance feeformer employer w2amortizing bondstenancy in common texascan you be evicted without a leasebond brokerage firmscylical stockscase mix index calculation formulawhere to pawn a diamond ringhow to apply for food stamps in arizonadefinition of subsidized loansbiotech dividend stocks100 tax prorationwhen will irs approve my refundordinary versus qualified dividendsdmv in dublin pawhat does name on card mean for a debit cardmilitary bah payblackbook value of carshow much federal taxes are taken out of my paychecktrack western union money order serial numberdeductible child care expensescapital one request higher credit limit

Related pages


ebt cash withdrawal atmfailed adoption tax creditaverage mileage per year motorcyclehow to transfer a property deed from a deceased relativewhere to cash a cashier checksamsclub auctionssidetrack agreement insurancelta rules indiastockholder equity calculatorsavings bond calculationunrealized gain loss calculationsan bernardino county recorder fees8863 credit limit worksheetbifurcated loanzero coupon bond yield calculatorbuy structured settlementshow to send usps money orderhow to make a settlement offer to a collection agencydo parking tickets affect insurancewells fargo visa gift cardco borrower mortgage tax deductioncash motelssalvation army toronto donationsfranchise tax board offer in compromisecolorguard scholarshipsbuy municipal bonds onlineload prepaid debit card with credit cardfed wh taxarthroscopic knee surgery costsocial security burial expensesair national guard rankswhat does hud owned meanoptometrist cost without insurancecostco puerto vallarta mexicotaxes oasdihow to determine savings bond valuetake home pay calculator florida salarywho is the grantee and who is the grantorhow do i qualify for hudpaypal aba routing numbercalculate yearly salary from hourly raterelocation assistance short salegoodwill in olathe ksgross salary ytdcan i use a 1040ezlife expectancy table irssample hoa budgetlimits on charitable deductionsaverage pay of a cosmetologistaffordable christian collegesusing 401k to purchase homefiling ssi disabilityradioshack w2 requestreconveyance feeformer employer w2amortizing bondstenancy in common texascan you be evicted without a leasebond brokerage firmscylical stockscase mix index calculation formulawhere to pawn a diamond ringhow to apply for food stamps in arizonadefinition of subsidized loansbiotech dividend stocks100 tax prorationwhen will irs approve my refundordinary versus qualified dividendsdmv in dublin pawhat does name on card mean for a debit cardmilitary bah payblackbook value of carshow much federal taxes are taken out of my paychecktrack western union money order serial numberdeductible child care expensescapital one request higher credit limit
"].join(""));l.close()}catch(m){b.src=a+'d.write("'+loaderHtml().replace(/"/g,String.fromCharCode(92)+'"')+'");d.close();'}b.contentWindow.config=k;b.contentWindow.SCRIPT_ID=g},0)}}}(); window.usabilla.load("w.usabilla.com", "4a73c8c43a12"); /*]]>{/literal}*/