A W-2 form is essential to filing your federal and South Carolina state tax returns. Without your return, you are missing important information you need to report, including your exact earnings, taxes withheld and your employer's identification number. Even if you already filed taxes, you may need your W-2 to verify income for credit applications. When a W-2 form is lost, it can be easily replaced.
If you lose your W-2 form you can contact your employer to request a new one. The government requires employers to issue new W-2 forms to employees if they are lost. You will need to speak to someone in the department that handles W-2 forms, which is likely the payroll or human resources department. You may need to fill out paperwork to request a new form. Keep filing deadlines in mind. If your employer is not in the state of South Carolina, it may take longer for you to receive a new W-2 form.
Contact the IRS
If the employer does not send your replacement W-2 form, he could incur a fine. Contact the Internal Revenue Service to have a reminder sent to your employer. When you calling the IRS, you will need to provide basic information such as your name, address, Social Security number, phone number, employer's name, address, dates of employment and an estimate of the wages earned for the year. Although the IRS does not provide actual copies of your W-2 forms, it will provide W-2 form information for the past 10 years for free.
You can also use IRS Form SC4852, which is called the Substitute for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, if you have not received your replacement W-2 form in time. You can go to IRS.gov to create and print your own W-2. You can use the information found on your last pay stub to complete the form. You are unable to file your South Carolina return electronically using the SC4852 form. You will need to submit a paper return instead if you do not have your original or replacement W-2 forms.
You must file your return or request an extension by the deadline, even if you do not have your W-2 form. If your W-2 arrives late, you can file a Form 1040X to correct any wrong information you reported on your return. If you received a bigger refund on your original tax return than you should have, you will be required to pay back the difference. In the event that your original refund was smaller than what you could have received, you will receive the money owed to you.
- South Carolina Department of Revenue: Fed/State and State Only Electronic Filing
- IRS.gov: Topic 159 - Prior Year(s) Form W-2
- Bankrate.com; What to Do if You Don't Get Your W-2 Form; Kay Bell
- IRS.gov: Here is What to do If You Are Missing a W-2
- Internal Revenue Service. "About Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Social Security Administration. "Deadline Dates To File W-2s." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "2020 Form W-2." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Social Security Administration. “Social Security Wage Base Rises to $142,800 for 2021.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "Employee Reimbursements, Form W-2, Wage Inquiries." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.