Didn't Get Your W2? Here's What to Do Now!

How to get your W2 in time for tax filing.

Mar 15, 2014 at 12:00PM

Still haven't gotten your 2013 W2? That's a problem. Employers are legally obligated to mail your W2 by Jan. 31 at the latest.

Your W2 contains all the critical information you need to report when you file your taxes, so it's essential that you receive a W2 from anyone you worked for in the last year. If you have not yet received your W2, follow these steps to make sure your taxes are done correctly and filed on time.

Step one: Double check
Everyone has to deal with mail of questionable importance. It's a possibility that your tax forms got lost in the shuffle. Make sure your W2 isn't stuck between catalogs and pizza coupons from last week's mail before taking the next step. If you've moved in the last year, it may take extra time for your W2 to be forwarded to your new address.

Step two: Contact your employer
If you haven't gotten your W2, your first stop needs to be your place of employment. Ask your employer whether your W2 mailed and on what date. It may be that your W2 was lost in the mail or incorrectly addressed. Do not make any assumptions about your employer's intentions; there may have been an honest mistake. If your employer did not mail your W2, make sure they have your correct address on file. Once they have informed you that it is in the mail, wait a week or two for it to appear in your mailbox before continuing to step three.

Step three: Contact the IRS
You should receive your W2 by Feb. 14, but if you haven't, you can call the IRS at (800)829-1040. A representative will need information about you and your employer to find your W2, so be prepared to provide your name, address (including city, state, and zip code), Social Security number, and phone number. You will also need your employer's name and address as well the dates you worked there. Finally, you need to provide an estimate of your wages earned and federal tax withheld, so get out your pay stubs and start counting before getting the IRS on the line.

Step Four: File your return
Taxes are due by Tuesday, April 15. Whether or not you received a W2, by the deadline you are required either to file your tax return or to request an extension. If you contacted your employer and the IRS about your missing W2 by the due date, you can use IRS Form 4852, which is a substitute for the W2. Include this form with your tax return. Make sure you calculate your income and withholdings as accurately as you can. If you file your taxes using Form 4852, it may take longer for your return to be verified, so be patient.

Step Five: Follow up with 1040X
You might belatedly receive your W2 after filing your tax return using Form 4852. If there is a difference between what you reported using Form 4852 and what is on your W2, you can use Form 1040X to register the discrepancy.

Tax season can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Understanding what to do when things don't go as planned can help you manage your finances with confidence.

You can access the forms mentioned in this post and find more instructions by going to www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM -- that's (800)829-3676.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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