May my employer provide me my Form W-2 electronically?

Answer:

Yes, your employer may furnish your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, electronically, provided certain criteria are met:

  • You must agree to receive the Form W-2 in an electronic format and demonstrate to your employer that you'll be able to access your electronic Form W-2.
  • Prior to, or at the time of your consent, your employer must provide you a disclosure statement containing specific disclosures regarding the furnishing of the Form W-2.
  • Additionally, the electronic version of the Form W-2 must contain all required information and comply with applicable revenue procedures relating to substitute statements to recipients.
  • If the statement is furnished on a website, then your employer must notify you via mail, electronic mail, or in person, that the statement is posted on a website and provide instructions on accessing and printing the statement.

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I received an incorrect Form W-2. My former employer won’t issue me a corrected Form W-2. What should I do?

Answer:

If by the end of February, your attempts to have the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, corrected by your employer are unsuccessful, you can request that an IRS representative initiate a Form W-2 complaint. Call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040 or visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). All TACs operate by appointment only.

  • The IRS will send your employer a letter requesting that they furnish you a corrected Form W-2 within ten days. The letter advises your employer of their responsibilities to provide a correct Form W-2 and of the penalties for failure to do so.
  • The IRS will send you a letter with instructions and Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. You can use the Form 4852 in the event that your employer doesn't provide you with the corrected Form W-2 in time to file your tax return.

Depending on the time of year, the IRS may have federal wage information in the form of a wage transcript. See Topic 159 for more information on how to get a transcript of W-2 information.

When you call the IRS or visit a TAC office, please have the following information available:

  • Your employer's or payer's name and complete address including ZIP code, employer identification number if known (see your prior year's Form W-2 if you worked for the same employer), phone number, and
  • Your name, address including ZIP code, social security number, phone number, and dates of employment.

If you file your return and attach Form 4852, you’ll need to estimate the wages you earned, taxes withheld, and the period you worked for that employer. You should base the estimate on year-to-date information from your final pay stub, if possible. When filing a Form 4852 instead of a Form W-2, there may be delays processing your refund while we verify the information you gave us.

To help protect your social security benefits, keep a copy of Form 4852 until you begin receiving social security benefits, just in case there's a question about your work record and/or earnings in a particular year. After September 30 following the date shown on line 4, use a my Social Security online account or contact your local SSA office to verify wages reported by your employer.

If you receive a corrected Form W-2 after you filed your return with Form 4852, and the information differs from the information reported on your return, you must amend your return by filing Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

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