How to Estimate Your W-2

by Jack Ori ; Updated September 11, 2015
Individuals making below a certain amount of money are not required to file a tax return or pay income taxes.

If you do not receive your W-2 by April, despite contacting your employer and the Internal Revenue Service, estimate your annual wages and withholding on IRS Form 4852, which is a substitute W-2 form. Most of the time, this information is laid out for you on your pay stub. If you do not have your final pay stub, do some calculations to estimate W-2 amounts.

Look at your most recent pay stub. Find the information about how much money you have been paid this year, and how much has been withheld for federal and state taxes. If your pay stub is the last pay stub of the tax year, use the amounts shown as your estimated wages and withholding.

Use the formula: Total wages per month = base pay amount x number of times paid per month. For example, if you are paid every week, your total wages per month are your gross income per week x four weeks in a month. Apply this formula to any portion of your year's wages that are not listed on your pay stub. For example, if your pay stub is from the first week in December and you are paid weekly, multiply your base pay x three weeks. Add this amount to the wage amount listed on your pay stub to estimate your entire wage amount.

Look on the IRS withholding tables to determine the amount of federal withholding on your estimated base pay. You can find the withholding tables online on the IRS' website.

Look up the withholding rate for your state on your estimated base pay at the website for your state's department of revenue.


About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.

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