A number of factors go into determining your yearly tax obligation to the U.S. government, including your wages earned. It’s your employer’s duty to report your wages, but if it doesn’t, this doesn’t diminish your responsibility. Instead, you must report your employer to the IRS and file your income tax return as best as you can.
Employers have a duty to report the wages they pay to the IRS. Not only that, it’s actually in their best interest because a business can deduct from its taxable income the salary it paid to its employees along with other business-related expenses. Depending on what type of employee you are, your employer reports your income to the IRS and sends the same information to you in the form of a W-2 or 1099 tax form.
As a way to offset your yearly tax obligation, you can set up tax withholding from your salary based on your intended filing status and number of dependents. When your employer deducts this money from each payment, it must deposit into a qualified bank account in accordance with the Federal Tax Deposit Requirements. When the employer sends you your W-2 or 1099 tax form, it must note the payments withheld from your salary as a tax contribution.
If your employer doesn’t do its duty, it is violating tax law. However, its crimes do not take away your tax obligations. You still must file your income tax return in accordance with the tax laws. You also still responsible for your share of the FICA tax. In some cases, an employer’s failure to comply with tax laws can prevent you from collecting social security, Medicare or unemployment benefits.
What to Do
If you suspect your employer isn’t reporting your wages and withholding to the IRS, you must make a formal report. Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the problem to the IRS. Also, file your taxes anyway with the information you have. If your employer didn’t provide a W-2, use your last pay stub of the year to estimate the numbers. Complete IRS form 4852 and attach it your income tax return.
Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.