What if you haven’t received your W-2 or 1099 or you have an incorrect W-2 or 1099? 

You’ve been strategizing all year and compiling all of your tax forms since January.  You waited for most of February for that one missing document…your W-2 or 1099 from your company.  Shouldn’t I have it by now, you ask.  The answer is YES.  What can you do about it?

Under federal law, employers must send employees their W-2’s by January 31st of each year.    Similarly, companies with independent contractors must provide 1099 forms by January 31st.

W-2s or 1099’s are also filed with the IRS.  The purpose for this is to inform of the wages or non-employee compensation a worker has earned and how much Social Security and Medicare taxes were withheld.

If you still have not received your W-2 or 1099 or it needs to be corrected, follow these important steps:

#1: Call your company

There may have been a simple mailing mistake so call your company’s payroll or human resources department.   It could be as simple as getting your new address.  They can also email you or possibly provide your W-2 or 1099 in a secure portal on their website.

If there is an error on the W-2 or 1099 you did receive, contact your company and let them know in detail why it is incorrect.  If they agree with the error, they can issue a corrected W-2 or corrected 1099.  These corrections will go to the IRS and to you so the records all match. Be sure to let your company know the correction is urgent.

#2: Contact the IRS

If your company fails to provide you with your W-2, it is time to get help from the IRS.   They can contact your company (if you haven’t received after February 14th) and inquire as to the missing W-2.  They can be reached at (800) 829-1040. Be sure to have the following information when you call:

  • company or payer name, address and phone number
  • dates of employment
  • federal tax withholding estimate of your W-2. This can be found on the last W-2 pay stub.

Form 1099’s are not necessary for filing, like a W-2 is, so calling the IRS is not necessary.  Just refer to your own records if you have a missing 1099.

#3: File your tax return

If your company provided you with the documentation you requested, obviously file by the April 15 due date.  If you still don’t receive your W-2, the IRS will send you form 4852, IRS substitute to Form W-2.  You will prepare this form and file it with your tax return. To complete Form 4852, You can use your pay stubs to insert the figures necessary.

Tax Resolution

Be aware that you may finally receive the missing or corrected Form W-2 or 1099 after you filed your return.  If you made a mistake on your Form 4852 that you need to correct, or if the 1099 amount you reported is agreed incorrect, you’ll need to file a 1040X amended tax return.  You may face an IRS audit if it isn’t corrected.

Not receiving timely W-2’s or 1099’s are actually a common problem so don’t feel alone. Many companies go out of business, merge or are purchased by another firm or just have terrible bookkeeping.  Some companies are also victims of fraudulent or incompetent payroll employees or payroll companies.

If you unfortunately incur tax debt due to a 1099 you overlooked and receive an underreporter notice, called a CP2000 notice, there are options such as IRS installment agreements and IRS settlements (known as offer in compromise).

Taxpayers needing tax resolution help with missing or incorrect W-2’s or 1099’s should seek the advice of a tax attorney.  The Attorneys at Delia Law have many years of tax relief experience and will competently represent you before the IRS.

Please call for a no-cost tax attorney consultation for tax resolution. Our attorneys are available to serve you in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles.  We are also available nationwide.  We look forward to helping you.

This blog post is not intended as legal advice and should be considered general information only.

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