How to Calculate W-2 Numbers From a Last Paycheck

How to Calculate W-2 Numbers From a Last Paycheck
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Any employer engaged in a business or trade who pays both cash and non-cash remuneration worth at least $600 after payroll and income taxes are accounted for must complete the IRS Form W-2 for each employee.

The form is also known as the wage and tax statement and contains information concerning your tax withholdings and earnings that you can use to file individual income tax returns. It includes your local, state and federal wages, tips and other forms of compensation you receive.

In addition, it contains details about your payroll taxes, dependent care benefits, nonqualified deferred compensation distributions and retirement plan contributions, among others.

Getting the IRS Form W-2 Copy

Typically, during tax season, employers are supposed to file Form W-2 by the end of January. Ideally, as an employee, you should have received a copy of that form by that time. However, that is not always possible.

If you don’t receive the electronic Form W-2 on time, check through your physical mail. It may have arrived later than you anticipated if it was mailed. But if you don’t see it, contact your employer via the human resources department and inquire whether it was sent.

If the employer forgot or used the wrong address, they can rectify the matter by sending it in-person, electronically or through the mail. However, if they fail to send the form for other reasons and show no signs of doing so, you must sort out the problem.

The next step would be to reach out to the IRS and let them know the situation.

Contacting the IRS About Form W-2

You need to contact the IRS about Form W-2 if you have not received it by the end of February. And then, the IRS will send a replacement form to the employer. The number to call is1-800-829-1040​.

Be sure to have all relevant personal details, information about your employer, employment period and the estimates of the taxes withheld during the year for which you want to file taxes.

Using Form 4852: Substitute for Form W-2

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your replacement W-2 form will reach you on time. However, since you cannot risk filing late and dealing with IRS tax penalties, you have no choice but to use Form 4852 in the meantime.

Therefore, it is important to know how to make W-2 from the last paycheck. In addition, learning how to get tax info from last paychecks will come in handy when completing the 4852 form and filing other tax returns.

Remember, you cannot use the form unless you have notified your employer and the IRS of your situation concerning the missing or incorrect W-2 form.

Getting Tax Info From Your Last Paycheck

Your paycheck can enable you to get the tax info you would have obtained from Form W-2. And then, you can use the available details to file your individual federal and state income taxes.

Below are tips on how to make W-2 from the last paycheck you received.

  • Take a look at your gross and year-to-date (YTD) income to determine what you make in income before deductions and taxes, and how much you have earned from the beginning of the year. And ideally, what you earn as YTD must match what is in W-2 forms by the end of the year.
  • Compare your gross earnings to the net pay to determine how much money you are paying in taxes and other contributions, such as those you make to retirement plans.
  • The paycheck also contains the taxes your employer has withheld. These include federal, state, local and payroll taxes like FICA and Medicare taxes. You can convert them into an annual total to determine how much taxes of each kind you are paying per year.
  • The deductions within your paycheck will fall under both pre-tax and after-tax categories. Adding your deductions can enable you to determine your gross earnings. However, pre-tax deductions are usually exempt from federal and state income taxes. On the other hand, after-tax deductions are taxable. In addition, some deductions are exempt from payroll taxes, while others are not.
  • The benefits section of your paycheck may help you fill in the details concerning the benefits you receive from your employer. And some may be taxable, which means they qualify as compensation. So, you must add them to your net pay to determine taxable gross earnings.
  • You can also use the paycheck to determine whether your names, taxpayer identification number, withholding amounts and filing status are accurate.

By figuring out the information you would have obtained from a W-2 form from your paycheck, you can file taxes on time and avoid IRS late tax filing and payment penalties. And if you eventually receive W-2 forms, you can always use the information to amend your tax returns by completing Form 1040-X.