Saturday, April 11, 2009


Larry, I am trying to get my information ready to do my tax return but I can’t get a W-2 from a company I worked for early in 2008. Now what do I do?


, I am sorry that you are having problems. You did not mention if the company is out of business or if they are just not following the law. You should have received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement by February 2, 2009.

Here is what we advise people that can’t get their W-2:

1. Contact your employer.

If you have not received your Form W-2, 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. Tell your employer that you have been advised to contact the IRS if you do not receive the form. That usually triggers their attention.

2. Contact the IRS.

If you still do not receive your W-2, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, have the following information:

  • Employer's name, address, city, and state, including zip code;
  • Your name, address, city and state, including zip code, and Social Security number; and
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the period you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

3. File your return.

You still must file your tax return on time even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 and have completed steps 1 and 2 above, you may use 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. There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

Form 4852 is available on the IRS Web site, or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).