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Text Script of Audio Interview on W-2s (English)

Branscome: Hello, everybody.  I'm Theresa Branscome from the Internal Revenue Service.  Are you still waiting to get your W-2 from your employer, or your 1099-R to show what distributions you received from an IRA, pension, or annuity?  If so, Eric Smith, who's a public-affairs specialist at the IRS will tell you what you should do now.  Eric, thank you so much for joining us. 

Smith: Good to be with you, Theresa. 

Branscome: Well, what should a person do? 

Smith: Well, the first thing you should do, Theresa, is contact the payer or the employer.  Very often, that will resolve the problem.  Give them a call, send them a letter, send them an e-mail, visit their office.  Whatever it takes.  And if you've moved since you worked for that employer, make sure they have a current address. 

Branscome: All right.  What if you do that and yet you still haven't received your W-2 or 1099-R? 

Smith: Well, then give the IRS a call, and we'll go to bat for you.  And the number to call is 1-800-829-1040.  That's 1-800-829-1040. 

Branscome: All right, and what will the IRS do? 

Smith: We'll send a letter to the employer or the payer on your behalf, asking them to provide you with the information that's missing. 

Branscome: And will the IRS give you something to submit as a substitute? 

Smith: We'll give you a form 4852, and you can use that form to estimate your wages and your withholding. 

Branscome: Okay.  Now, when you call the IRS, is there any information you should be prepared to give them? 

Smith: Absolutely, Theresa.  We'll need your name.  That should be pretty easy.  Your address.  A phone number would also be helpful.  Your Social Security number -- very important.  And the name and address of the employer and when you worked for them. 

Branscome: All right.  What if you don't get your W-2 or 1099-R in time to file your tax return on time? 

Smith: Well, Theresa, the most important thing is to file your return, and to file it on time.  And when you do, use the substitute form that we mentioned earlier, form 4852, estimate your wages or your pension or annuity payments.  Estimate your withholding.  And attach that to your return in place of the W-2 or the 1099-R. 

Branscome: All right, and here's my final worst-case scenario -- what if, after you file your tax return, you receive your missing W-2 or 1099-R, and you find out you have to correct your tax return as a result? 

Smith: Easy solution to that problem, Theresa.  File an amended return.  Just as pencils have erasers, the IRS has an amended-return form.  It's form 1040X, and it's used to correct information that's on your return.  Fill that out, attach that W-2 form or that 1099-R, and you'll be done. 

Branscome: Okay, well, thank you so much, Eric. 

Smith: Good to be with you, Theresa. 

Branscome: And thank you all for joining us.  I'm Theresa Branscome.  You can learn more about missing forms on the IRS's official website, irs.gov. 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Mar-2014