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What to Do if You Forget to File a W2 When Sending Tax Returns to IRS

– What to Do if You Forget to File a W2 –

What to do if you forget to file a W2: Most people make mistakes when filing their tax returns to IRS. When if have two jobs or employers, you could have two W2 forms and it is important to file both in your tax return. However, what are you supposed to do if you forget to file a W2? Will IRS notice it? Read on to find out.

What to Do if You Forget to File a W2

What Is Form W2?

A W2 form, also known as the Wage and Tax Statement, is the document and employer are required to send to each employee and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of the year.

W2 reports the employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks.

A W2 employee is someone whose employer deducts taxes from their paychecks and submits this information to the government.

What Happens when you Forget your W2 Form?

Most W2s are electronically filed with the Internal Revenue Service now, so they know if you cannot report the income on your return.

If you don’t notice you made a mistake or are missing a form on your taxes, the IRS will let you know.

Their computer will match up your filing with the copies of form W2 received from your employers, for instance.

If you’re missing a W2, the IRS can fix the problem for you and send a request for what your return is missing.

How Often Does The IRS Double Check Tax Return?

The IRS’ computer programs continuously check tax returns. It is all automated.

If there is a discrepancy when the computer cross-checks a return with other data it has on file, that return is flagged and analyzed by an individual.

When to Amend your Return

Clearly leaving out a major source of income for a tax year is a big deal. You should amend your return if you should ever make the mistake.

But you’ll also need to amend your return if you find errors in your filing status, several dependents, total income, tax deductions, or tax credits, to name a few.

You don’t need to amend your return if you made minor math errors when filing.

The IRS typically catches and corrects math errors for you. If the errors, once corrected, change your amount due or amount owed, you’ll get a notice from the IRS.

How Long Do You Have to Amend Your Return

You’ll have up to three years to file your amended tax return to fix old errors.

Typically, though, the IRS is going to find and correct your large errors before this point.

You’ll need to file your amended return within three years from the date you file your original tax return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

These dates can vary, so consult with a tax professional if you’re not sure.

Getting (or paying) more Money

If amending your taxes will give you additional refund money, wait to file the amendment until after you have your original refund check.

Cash that checks. Then file your amendment. The IRS will send you additional money you’re owed when they process the amendment.

If you need to pay additional taxes, file your amendment as soon as possible.

If possible, send your additional tax payment with the amendment.

This will limit interest and penalty charges you’ll pay for not having your taxes paid in full.

What Is The Penalty For An Incorrect Tax Return?

There is no specific penalty for an incorrect tax return.

However, penalties can apply to your incorrect tax return. For instance, if you have to pay more tax, more penalties will apply in correlation with the increase in tax.

If your mistake resulted in less tax, there would be no penalties associated with your corrected return.

Can I Go To Jail For Filing My Taxes Incorrectly?

You cannot go to jail for making a mistake or filing your tax return incorrectly.

However, if your taxes are wrong by design and you intentionally leave off items that should be included, the IRS can look at that action as fraudulent, and a criminal suit can be instituted against you.

It is the intent that determines whether criminal action is taken. If you simply make a mistake and take action to correct it, then it is not unlawful.

Final Thoughts


While everyone makes mistakes, it’s important to stay educated and updated on tax laws.

This includes knowing the proper way to file a W2 and what to do when you forget to file one.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. Please share it with anyone you think will appreciate the information and kindly drop your comment below.

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