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How To Get Your W-2 From a Previous Employer?

how to get your w2 from a previous employer

Getting your W-2 from a previous employer can often be a daunting task. Knowing where the paperwork is stored, who you should contact, and how to complete the necessary forms properly are important steps in retrieving this vital document.

 If you understand the process, it can make things much smoother and easier. So, I decided to break down different aspects of getting your W-2 from an employer you used to work for, so you can get what you need swiftly and efficiently. With our helpful tips and tricks, your retrieval process should be smooth sailing!

So, if you’re wondering How To Get Your W-2 From a Previous Employer?

Let’s find out!

Why Do You Need to get a W-2 from Your Previous Employer?

As an employee, it is important to acquire your W-2 from your previous employer to file your taxes. This form can help you determine the exact sum of money you owe in taxes or if you are due a tax refund. 

It lists the total amount of wages earned for the given year, as well as taxes taken out of your paycheck and sent to the IRS. Also known as a wage and tax statement, this document includes essential data such as withholding allowances claimed and any other pertinent information such as Social Security benefits you may have received. Without the W-2 form, it would be impossible to file taxes properly and receive an accurate refund amount.

What Data is On Your W-2?

It is important to know what information is on the form and why it is relevant. Your employer must fill in your annual earnings, and how much federal, state, Social Security, and Medicare taxes were taken out of your salary. Any contributions they paid towards your retirement fund, payments they made towards your health care benefits, and any amounts given to you for dependent care expenses all year. 

The W-2 allows you to ensure that your income and related deductions have been recorded accurately, and by having this complete picture of one’s finances documented can help prepare for tax season.

What Data is On Your W-2

When Should You Expect Your W-2?

Generally speaking, you should anticipate receiving your W-2 by the end of January. Employers are legally obliged to submit the forms to employees no later than January 31st every year by IRS regulations. While this is the most common timeline, it is essential to bear in mind that they have up until February 14th to deliver forms before facing any potential fines or other disciplinary measures from the IRS.

How To Get a W-2 From Your Former Employer?

If your former employer fails to send it before the end of January, there are steps you can take to obtain your W-2 form.

Check Your Address

To ensure that your form is not inadvertently sent to the wrong address, it’s important to complete a change of address form as soon as you move. Sending a change of address form takes only a few minutes and can be completed at any United States Post Office.

 After submitting this form, it typically takes seven to 10 days for your mail to be delivered on schedule at your new address. Ignoring this step might result in delays or misdirected documents.

Check Your Address

Try Your Email

If you haven’t received your W-2, start by taking a look at your email inbox. You may have agreed to receive digital tax statements, and your company might prefer to send important documents through that mode of delivery.

 Check for any notifications about new tax forms being available for access, as these normally come with directions on how to get into a secure online environment where you can locate your W-2 and other pertinent information. Make sure you don’t forget to check the spam folder too!

Contact Your Employer

You should contact your previous employer as soon as possible and request an additional copy of the form. If there’s an HR department, connect with them via call or email, as they will be able to confirm if the W-2 was sent and verify that your current address is on file. 

If not in HR, try calling your former manager and offer to pick up the form in person so that you can get it more quickly. That way, you can be certain of its receipt and have one less thing to worry about!

Try The Payroll Administrator

It is important to know that the legal responsibility of getting this form lies with the employer. However, if they are unable to send you this important document, then contact their payroll administrator for help. They will be able to look at your address records, and if your copy was mailed but not received, can resend a replacement for you.

 Each year it is particularly important to ensure that all wages, taxes, and benefits accurately reported on this form are done so in a timely fashion. Be sure to contact the payroll administrator if any problems arise, so you do not fall behind on filing when tax season comes around.

Contact the IRS

If you have still not received your W-2, the best way to get it is to contact the IRS. You will need to provide them with the company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN), which can be found on old pay stubs or the previous year’s W-2. 

In addition to your contact information and Social Security number, the employer’s contact information, estimated earnings, and dates of employment. 

They will send a reminder…

Upon providing this information, the IRS will issue a reminder to your former boss, asking them to mail you a copy of your W-2. Alternatively, if you would prefer direct interaction with this process, setting up an appointment at your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center allows you to handle tax communications in person.

Still Don’t Have Your W-2?

If all else fails, fill out Form 4852 and use the information from your last pay stub from that company to file your tax return.

 This should give you a 6-month extension, but you will still need to estimate the amount of tax you owe for that year. You should also make sure to watch the mailbox for IRS notifications that come with further instructions on how to proceed. Once you receive a W-2, you can then amend your return by filing Form 1040X.

How To Prepare For Tax Season?

Filing taxes can be a bit of a headache but preparing ahead of time will make the process much more manageable. 

How To Prepare For Tax Season

  • Make sure you keep track of your current and past employers. This includes collecting their contact information and EIN numbers. 
  • Double-check that your address is always up to date with all employers, as this is the key piece of information that will ensure you receive any tax documents in a timely fashion.
  • Organize your W-2s and other forms as soon as you receive them.
  • Keep all pay stubs from the year handy in case you need to reference any of the information when filing your return. 
  • Create a filing system that works for you so that you can keep track of all documents in one accessible place.
  • Keep a checklist of what you need to file your return, and make sure you check everything off before submitting. 
  • Consider signing up for an online tax filing program to make the process even smoother. These programs are usually user-friendly and will guide you through the filing process. They also typically offer helpful advice, step-by-step instructions, and live customer support. 

Staying organized and on top of this information will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth tax season!

Applying For A New Job?

Then why not make sure you’re prepared for the big interview day, starting with how to Answer Why Best Candidate PositionWhat Are Your Career Goals, and How Do You Handle Stress, as well as the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview and How Do You Handle Conflict?

Next, we’ve covered How Would You Describe YourselfWhat Are You Most Proud Of, and your Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews, along with Why Do You Want To Work Here, and Why We Should Hire You?

Lastly, why not find out How To Answer What Are You Passionate AboutWhat Makes You Unique, and how to answer The Hardest Interview Questions, perhaps you’d like to know the Best Questions To Ask A Recruiter Before An Interview and the best Unique Interview Questions To Ask Employers in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of these tasks promptly will ensure that you have your correct documents in time for filing deadlines and avoid potential penalties for missing forms or late filing. 

If there are any issues, be sure to contact the payroll administrator or IRS as soon as possible. With a little bit of effort and preparation, you will be able to successfully get your W-2 from a previous employer and complete your tax returns.

Good Luck with your tax returns!

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