In general, employers must provide employees with a Form W-2 by January 31. However, if you leave your employer before the end of the year and request your Form W-2, your employer must provide your Form W-2 within 30 days of your request. If you do not receive your Form W-2, you still must file your return on time. You may request an extension to allow more time to file.
After January 31, if you want to file, but have not received your Form W-2, you should first contact your employer and find out if or when the W-2 was mailed. You may not have received your W-2 because of an incorrect or incomplete address, so be sure to verify your address.
If the W-2 was returned to the employer because of an address problem or was not yet issued, allow a reasonable amount of time for the employer to re-mail or issue the W-2. If you still do not receive your W-2, contact the IRS for assistance at 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-808-4262, but not before February 15th. When you call the IRS you will need the following information:
The employer's name and complete address, including zip code, their identification number (if known), and telephone number,
Your name, address, including zip code, social security number, and telephone number; and
An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the dates you began and ended employment.
Another option is to paper file using Form 4852 as a substitute for a missing W-2, but this option should only be used to meet the filing deadline. Please note that you will not be able to e-file if you use this form. If you file your return and attach Form 4852 instead of a W-2, your refund may be delayed while the information you gave the IRS is verified.
If you receive a corrected W-2 after your return is filed and it does not match the income or withheld tax you reported on your return, you must file an amended return. You will need form 1040X to file an amended return. This can now be done electronically for the federal amended return (current tax year and last prior year only, prior year (more than one year) amended returns must be printed and mailed).