Form W2—Wage and Tax Statement are sent out to employees to report the income paid and taxes withheld. When an employer is required to send Forms W2?
Since employees are going to attach W2 to their federal income tax returns, it must be sent out to them before January 31. Employers who miss the January 31 deadline are subject to a $50 penalty per W2 that is late. This penalty can be as much as $560. This is the maximum amount an employer can receive in monetary penalties for not producing a Form W2.
If an employer fails to produce Form W2 by January 31, he or she will be subject to penalties ranging $50 to $560.
Monetary Penalty Amounts for Late-Filed Forms W2
The full list of penalties depending on when the employer files Forms W2 and sends out to employees are as follows.
$50 penalty after January 31st but it’s filed within 30 days after the deadline.
$110 penalty for Forms W2 filed between March 3 and August 1.
$560 penalty for Forms W2 filed August 1. The penalty is also the same for employers who willfully ignore to produce a Form W2.
Employees Who Didn’t Receive Form W2
If you’re an employee that hasn’t received a Form W2 from employer, you are put at a situation where you need something other than your W2 to file a tax return. For this, the IRS allows employees to file Form 4852. This is the substitute form for W2 and 1099-R. Learn more about each of these tax forms from here.
As to when you can file Form 4852 to replace a W2, you can do it after February 14. You cannot file Form 4852 before February 14 and until this date arrives, you must wait for your W2. When February 14 arrives and you decided to file Form 4852, you will need your last pay stub to file it.
If you use anything else other than your last pay stub, you must report it on Form 4852 Line 9. If you’ve used your last pay stub, simply explain it so on Line 9. In addition to these, you also need to explain your efforts to obtain your W2 on Line 10. For example, you can state that you’ve asked for it from your employer.
Should you file Form 4852 to replace W2?
Any tax professional would tell you that filing Form 4852 is quite a bit risky. As long as the information you provide on Form W2 is correct, there is nothing at risk. However, if you’re unsure about what’s state on your last pay stub, we suggest waiting your W2 for a while.
After all, between February 14 and April 15, you will have about two months to file your federal income tax return. What we suggest is unless you’re in desperate need of your tax refund, wait for your W2. Since your employer will have to pay a higher penalty if it isn’t sent out to you by early March, it’s best to at least wait for a month for your W2.