What to Do About Those Missing W2’s

Asking for Help Is Not a Sign of Weak Leadership

What to Do About Those Missing W2’s

If you still haven’t started your taxes this year, then what are you waiting for?

There are numerous reasons to file your taxes early, including:

  • Getting your refund sooner
  • If you owe money, having more time to pay it off before the deadline
  • Preventing scammers from stealing your refund and your identity
  • Feeling the relief of having them done

Of course, in order to file early you do need to have all the necessary forms. So what happens if you’re missing some essential items like Form 1099s or W2s? What should you do? There are several measures you can take if you’re missing tax forms.

Talk to Your Employer

First off, your employer – or employers, if you worked for more than one company – is supposed to send all W2s by January 31. If you haven’t received your W2 by the 31, the first step is to contact your employer to verify they have sent your W2. Perhaps they are a bit behind, or maybe they’ve just recently sent them out. In many cases, W2 forms show up a few days late in early February. Additionally, make sure that the company you work for has your correct address on file. If not then they’ve likely sent it to the wrong address.

Contact the IRS

It would be highly unusual for your employer to withhold your W2 or even worse, completely ignore you, but if that’s the case, it’s time to call the IRS. When you notify the IRS that you haven’t received a W2 and your employer won’t respond, the IRS will take action. The agency will send a letter to the company to remind them of their duty. You will need to give your company name, address and phone number and the dates you worked there, in addition to your basic personal information. You should also have some idea of your total wages and the taxes withheld.

Try Form 4852

If you’ve been waiting much longer than just a couple of weeks, and the tax deadline is getting really close, then you could use Form 4852. This form acts as a substitute for your missing W2. All you really need to fill out this form is a copy of your last pay stub from the previous year. It should be a fairly accurate gauge of how much you made and how much was withheld in taxes. But be prepared to explain why you are using this form. You will have to tell the IRS about it on line 10 of the form. That includes explaining your previous efforts to acquire your W2.

It’s Up to You

Ultimately, it’s up to you to pay your taxes and file your return. If you can’t get a response from an employer, or you’re missing a Form 1099, then follow these steps to make sure you can complete your return on time. And be sure to act sooner rather than later.


We hope you found this article about “What to Do About Those Missing W2’s” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at www.GROCO.com.  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of GROCO.com.  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.

Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio



GROCO.com is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

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In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

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