Question:

What if I didn't receive a W-2?

Missing Information

Sometimes you may find that the tax filing deadline is fast approaching and you have not received all of your applicable information. You are not sure what to do, or who to contact. So, you do not do anything. You do not file a tax return. Then, a few months pass and you still have not received the information from your sources. You know you owe back taxes. What do you do?

First of all, start the process earlier. If you have not received your tax information by January 31 of the current year, contact the source. If you are an employee, it will be your employer. You need a W-2 from them. If you are self-employed, it will be your customers, i.e. For investors, financial institutions should have sent you 1099 series containing dividends, interest, capital transactions, etc.

If you have not received the information by February 15, of the current tax year, contact the IRS. This date is given since more than likely the matching program used by the IRS will have the information you need. It will have received third party documentation containing your tax information. The IRS can help you. To be certain the IRS receives the information, however, they recommend giving until August. This date is given since the main part of filing season is done. The IRS can deal more expeditiously on your request then.

Or, if you misplaced your W-2, contact the IRS. If your employer has not provided you with duplicate copies of this tax form, the IRS will have the information – many times.

Use this information to prepare your tax return to the best of your abilities.

If you do not file. If you find that April 15 (average date) has come and gone and you still have not received the applicable documents, you have two options. Contact the IRS, or wait for them to contact you. It is easier to wait for them to contact you. They more than likely will send you a Notice of unpaid taxes and an unfiled tax return.

Respond to the IRS Notice with a letter you composed in which you explain your situation. Explain why you have your unfiled tax return, and your unpaid back taxes. Be sure to mention their Notice number, notice date, and reason for the notice.

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