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Form W-2 deadline: When do employers send out W-2s to employees?

4 min read

4 min read

Are you ready to begin filing your tax return but are still waiting for IRS Form W-2 from your employer or human resources department? Each January, companies are required to issue a W-2 form to inform employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the amount of money their employee made during the previous year as well as how much income, Social Security, and Medicare tax was withheld.

Caution: If you’re wondering “When do W2s come out” and contemplating moving forward with your tax filing without them, we have a word of warning. If you file taxes without all your W-2s and try to use your last paycheck stubs instead, it may lead to errors, and the processing of your tax return and tax refund could be delayed.

When are W-2s sent out?

Your employer should send W-2 Forms to you no later than Jan. 31 each year, following the W-2 form deadline for federal income tax.

Employer missed the W-2 deadline?

What should you do if you haven’t received IRS form W-2 by the 31st? If you don’t receive your W-2 tax form by the W-2 form deadline, the first thing to do is ask your employer or human resources department for it. Technically, your employer has until Jan. 31 to send your W-2 by mail or electronically. If they mailed it on Jan 31., it may take a few days to arrive.

If your employer participates in the early W-2 program, you can use H&R Block software to import your W-2 directly to your return. You can also consult a tax pro at an H&R Block tax office for more guidance.

For any tax year, if you don’t receive your W-2 by the end of February, contact your employer. If you don’t receive the missing or corrected form from your employer or payer by the end of February, contact the IRS phone number. The IRS will contact your employer to issue the missing W-2 Form. The IRS will also send you a Form 4852: Substitute for Form W-2, which you can use to complete your tax filing.

If it’s late in the tax season and you’re just now realizing you don’t have your W-2, you may want to request an extension to give you more time to complete your return. Filing Form 4868 will give you an extension to file your federal taxes via the 1040 form. But remember, this extension only gives you more time to file, not pay any tax you owe.

Why is understanding the W-2 deadline also important for small business owners?

If you’re a small business owner wondering when W-2s are due this year, learn more about the W-2 deadline from our small business tax pros at Block Advisors. Even if you don’t have employees, you may need to file your own W-2. In fact. You should fill out a W-2 form for you (if you’re on your own payroll) as well as any employee who:

  • You withheld any income, Social Security, or Medicare tax from their wages for (Also referred to as withholding tax.)
  • You paid $600 or more in wages for the tax year
  • Claimed an exemption from withholding on Form W-4

Navigating the W-2 deadline – and other tax questions

Taxes can get complicated, so it’s always smart to get help. Whether you’re questioning, “When should I get my w-2? or “What to do if my employer hasn’t sent W-2s?” let H&R Block guide your tax preparation. Whether you choose to file with a tax pro or file with H&R Block Online, you can rest assured that we’ll get you the biggest refund possible.

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