Can You File Taxes Without W2? Here’s How You Can

If your W2 hasn’t come in, we get it, you might be confused. Can you file taxes without a W2? Not to worry, the good answer is you can file taxes without a W2. In fact, there are quite a few ways to file taxes without a W2 and we’re going to explain all of them to you. Once you get done, you should have a good understanding of what to do if your W2 doesn’t come in and some of the approaches you can take to still file your taxes.

filing taxes with no w2

Step 1 – Getting In Touch With Your Employer

If you haven’t received your W-2 form by the end of January, the first thing you should do is get in touch with your employer and ask them to resend it. A lot of times, it is as simple as that.

 Employers are required to send out W-2 forms by January 31st each year. If you didn’t get yours then two common issues are it getting lost in the mail or sent to the wrong address. After speaking to your employer, if they confirm they did indeed send it, have them confirm the address they sent it to. 

Step 2 – Using Form 4852 (A Backup)

If you still don’t receive your W-2 form after speaking with your employer, there is still a good option. You can use Form 4852 which is specifically designed when you don’t receive or have an incorrect Form W-2.

Form 4852 lets you estimate your earnings and taxes paid for the year. While it is a little bit more complex than just plugging in your W-2, almost all online tax software have this form available. Don’t worry, it is self-explanatory and only a page long.

Read More:

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Step 3 – Using Your Pay Stubs to Estimate

Without a W-2, the tricky part is knowing how much to estimate. Getting ahold of your final pay stub for the year should have your total pay and withholdings. It may also list deductions.

Will your pay stub be exactly right and match your W-2? Probably not but it is a good starting point to make an estimate on From 4852.  If you don’t get a final pay stub, ask your HR if they can provide one. Alternatively, you can add up the money you receive from work on a monthly basis in your online banking.

Step 4 – A Last Resort: Filing for an Extension

If you are really struggling, can’t get your W-2 and are having a hard time with Form 4852 then consider extending your tax return. The one issue with extending your tax return is that it only gives you more time to file, not more time to pay any taxes owed. You’ll still need to estimate your tax liability and make any payments due by the tax deadline.

Generally speaking an extension only takes a few minutes and can add a ton of peace of mind if you are concerned on not getting your taxes in, on time.

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Use a CPA or Tax Professional

Even after reading all the steps, you might think it is a big headache. Frankly, it can be if you don’t have your W-2 and get confused with tax software. If that feels like you, you might just want to hire a professional. CPAs are pretty affordable to get to file your taxes and you’ll have peace of mind that your taxes are done correctly.

That said, they should be able to breeze through an issue like you not having your W-2 and can talk you through an extension if needed. If you plan to hire a CPA since you don’t have your W-2, be upfront and tell them the issue you are facing. It’s more common than you think that W-2s don’t come on time and it’s probably not the first time they had to deal with the situation.

Filing Taxes Without a W2: Wrapping Up

So what are the takeaways? Don’t be nervous if you don’t receive your W-2. Start by having a conversation with your employer. From there, estimate your taxes if you have to. Get professional help if you need it and extend so you don’t run out of time. Don’t let it stress you out and drop us a message if you need some help.

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