It’s February 1st and the deadline for filing your individual income tax return will arrive in the blink of an eye. Make sure you have obtained all the necessary documents before filing your 2011 tax return.
You should receive an IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers for the year 2011. Employers had until yesterday, January 31st, to issue your 2011 W-2 earnings statement. However, if you do not receive your W-2 within a week, you should do the following:
1. Contact your employer. Contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address. Verify the address the W-2 was mailed to and make any necessary corrections. After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or issue the W-2.
2. Contact the IRS. If you do not receive your W-2 by February 14, contact the IRS for more information and assistance at 1 (800) 829-1040. The IRS will require you to provide your name, address, Social Security number, phone number. Additionally, the IRS will ask you for the following:
• Employer’s name, address and phone number
• Dates of employment in 2011
• An estimate of the wages you earned and the federal income tax withheld. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub for 2011, if possible.
3. File your return. Regardless of whether or not you receive your Form W-2, you still must file your tax return or request an extension to file by April 17, 2012. Failure to do so may result in assessments of penalties and interest. If you have not received your Form W-2 in time to file your return by the due date, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use IRS Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. Note that this may cause a delay in issuing your refund while the IRS verifies this information.
4. File a Form 1040X. On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you file your return using Form 4852, and the information on the W-2 may be different from what you reported on your tax return. If this is the case, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.