The United States uses the W2 form to report wages given to employees as well as payments withheld from them. It’s an important tool in your hands as it’s one of the most crucial forms that you can use to file your taxes. But what if you don’t have this W2? How will you be able to file your taxes? This article is a guide that will show you how you can file your taxes without the W2. First, let’s answer some questions:
Can I File My Taxes Without W2?
Even if you do not have a W2, you can file your taxes. If you have a job and want to file a tax return, you will likely need this form. The employer will provide the W2. However, if you wind up losing the form or did not receive it from the company, you can always request a copy.
However, there may be times when obtaining a copy of the W2 is not available. In this situation, you may proceed by completing Form 4852. This is the “Wage and Tax Statement Substitute Form W2.” You will use this form to request information about your withheld pay and taxes.
You may need some papers, such as a final pay stub, to complete Form 4852. If you do not have such a document, you can estimate your earnings and fill out the form. If at all possible, you should contact your local VITA site to see if they can assist you with this process.
How to File Taxes Without W2
#1. Attempt to obtain a W2 form from your employer.
You should first try to receive the W2 form from your employer. Speak with the company’s leadership to determine whether W2s will be provided to all employees. W2s can be issued for employees even if the company is no longer in operation. Its old payroll supplier can assist in obtaining these forms.
However, if you are unable to contact someone at the company or if they refuse to provide W2s to employees, you may need to take a different approach.
#2. Obtain the W2 form from the IRS.
If you are unable to obtain the W2 from your employer, you should go to the IRS and request it. They might be able to assist you in locating the W2.
You should contact the IRS at 800.829.1040 to do so. You must provide them with your personal information as well as your employer’s name and address. They will then attempt to locate a duplicate W-2 form. Even if you did not receive tax information from your employer, the IRS may have.
#3. Fill out Form 4852
If you are unable to acquire the W-2 from your employer or the IRS, you can still file your tax return using IRS Form 4852. So there is still hope. The form is available for download from the IRS website.
Fill out the form accurately with a copy of your most recent pay stub, and then attach it to the 1040 or another tax form. You should then send it to the IRS.
#4. Always file on time.
Even if you did not receive a W-2, you must file your tax return on time. Make certain that you do not miss the deadline for paying your income taxes.
Is It Legal to File Taxes Without Your W2?
If you file electronically, you won’t have any trouble filling out your taxes even if you don’t have your W-2. However, you still need the information on the W-2 to file your taxes correctly. You will require the following items:
- Your social security benefits and earnings (separately)
- The employer’s identification number
- The employer’s address and name
- What percentage of federal income tax is withheld?
- The overall pay of the employer, including tips and other benefits.
- The social security tax withheld
- State income tax withheld
- Medicare tax withheld
- Any local income taxes withheld
Although submitting a W-2 document is not required when filing electronically, you must provide the information found on this form. It is still critical to keep your W-2 in a secure location since you may require it at some point. For example, it could be necessary for background checks, audits, or other similar scenarios.
Keep in mind that if you are audited, you will be required to show the W-2 and other documentation. They will allow you to present proof of your income and withholding. If you are unable to demonstrate that you entered those numbers in good faith, you may face legal consequences.
The W-2 form should be filed with the Social Security Administration by the employer. This must be completed before the end of January. The SSA will also share the information with the IRS. This is how they will know if you and your company recorded different statistics, in which case an audit will be conducted.
When Should I Expect My W2?
W-2 forms should be received by the SSA from employers by the end of January. As a result, employees should receive the paperwork on that day or earlier. However, if your company decides to ship it to you on the same day as the deadline, you might get it a few days later.
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What Happens If I File by Mail?
If you choose to submit your taxes by mail, you will need a copy of your W-2. Even if you send the return without the form, the IRS will almost probably send you a letter requesting it. If you don’t have it, try to obtain a copy from your employer. Form 4852 can also be used.
What Happens If I Can’t Get a W-2?
If you are unable to obtain a W-2, either because your employer refuses to provide one or because the document does not arrive, you should contact the IRS. You will get them to call your employer for a solution if you do this.
However, if this does not resolve the issue, you can still file your income taxes by completing Form 4852.
Can I File an Income Tax Return If I Don’t Earn Anything?
Filing a tax return is always necessary, so make sure you do it before the deadline. But what happens if you didn’t make any money last year?
The good news is that you are not required to file a return if you did not earn any income during the previous tax year. The IRS imposes minimum income criteria every year; they alter annually depending on your tax status or inflation.
As a result, your needs may differ depending on whether you file jointly, are married but filing separately, are single, and so on. As a result, if you have no income, you are not required to file a tax return. Nonetheless, you may want to do it anyhow because there are some significant reasons for doing so.
Filing despite having no income in the previous tax year allows you to claim some refundable tax credits, which may result in a tax refund. This is true even if you do not have a job. As a result, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both are refundable tax credits.
You can also file if you made very little money last year. This allows you to recoup taxes that were withheld from your previous payment. It is a scenario that occurs when you held a job but only for a portion of the previous year.
However, it is also feasible in circumstances where a person attends college while earning very little money. As a result, submitting a return allows the individual to claim the American Opportunity credit.
Meanwhile, things are different for self-employed or small business owners. Essentially, if you earned more than $400 through this, you must file a tax return. This type of situation causes some uncertainty when the contractor’s salary is greater than $400 but less than the threshold at which W2 employees should file.
You must also file your taxes if you received any health care tax credits or subsidies in the previous year. This also permits you to receive them in the future.
What are the requirements for filing income taxes?
When it comes to who has to file taxes and who doesn’t, the good news is that there are certain people who don’t have to.
If you earned income in the preceding tax year but it was less than the IRS minimum, you do not need to file a tax return. The minimum varies depending on your filing status and age, whether you are the head of the household, single, claimed as a dependant on another person’s taxes, or filing jointly with your spouse.
The IRS adjusts the minimum earned income for inflation every year. People who earn less than the bare minimum must still file tax returns if their circumstances change.
If you earned $400 through self-employment, for example, you must file and pay a self-employment tax.
Meanwhile, if no money was earned, it is not necessary to file taxes.
Obtaining a Refund Using Tax Credits
A tax credit can be used to earn a refund. The IRS provides many tax credits that can be deducted from your taxes rather than your income. If the credit you receive is greater than the amount you must pay in taxes, you may be able to claim the difference as a refund.
Furthermore, even if your tax is zero, you may be eligible for several tax credits, such as the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will allow you to receive a refund. Just keep in mind that you must file the 1040 and other tax forms in order to claim the credits.
Furthermore, depending on your child’s age, the American Rescue Plan will increase the per-child credit to $3,000 or $3,600, expanding the Child Tax Credit.
As a result, you must consider this for the 2021 tax return, which you must prepare the following year. You can get a refund for the credit for 2021, and the IRS can start sending out advance payments for this in July, ensuring that consumers get their money quickly.
Filing Now Allows You to Deduct Later
You cannot make as many claims as you wish. It’s all up to the IRS. This is due to the IRS imposing a cap on how much you may claim with certain credits and deductions.
For example, if a home office deduction would put your company in debt, you will be unable to claim the deduction because it is too substantial. You will be able to claim zero business income for that year instead, allowing you to carry the leftover deduction into the following year.
You also cannot claim any carryover credits or deductions if you do not have any income. However, you must file your taxes in order to claim them the next year when you receive an income.
Defend Against Future Audits
An audit is the last thing you want to happen to you.
When it comes to inspecting old tax returns, the IRS follows a statute of limitations. In general, they can only go back three years if you make sure to accurately disclose your information. However, for the current year, it all begins when you file your tax return.
Failure to file your tax return puts you at danger of an audit by the IRS. As a result, the IRS advises that even if you do not intend to file, you must keep all necessary financial records.
Otherwise, you risk encountering major issues, which can quickly become uncomfortable.
You can file your taxes without a W2. You can try to obtain a copy of it, and if that fails, you can still apply using form 4852. Make careful to file your taxes on time to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my W2 if my employer went out of business?
Even if your employer is no longer in business, you should still contact them. They might be able to obtain tax information from their previous payroll supplier.
Can I file a tax return if I had no income?
Yes, you can file a tax return if you have no income.