IRS Procedures to Correct Wrong W-2s

It is quite common to receive a wrong W-2 due to mistakes committed by your employer. The logical thing to do would be to contact your employer and get them to correct any errors and give you an amended W-2. But if you try to get in touch with your employer without success till after February 15, you should contact the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 to request that an IRS representative initiate a Form W-2 (PDF) complaint. You can also go to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) for help.

The IRS will send a letter to your employer reminding them of their responsibilities as employers to submit a correct Form W-2 and requesting them to give you an amended one within 10 days. At the same time, the IRS will send you a letter giving you instructions and Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. Form 4852 is for you to use in case your employer does not provide you with the corrected Form W-2 in time to file your tax return.

When you call the IRS or visit a TAC, you should furnish the following information:

• Your employer's name and complete address (including zip code) and telephone number

• employer identification number (if known – see prior year's Form W-2) if you worked for the same employer)

• Your name, address including zip code, social security number, and telephone number

• An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and how long you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

If you file a Form 4852 instead of a W-2 to support the withholding amount claimed, your information needs to be verified during which your refund can be delayed. If you receive a Form W-2 after you file your return and it does not agree with the income or withheld tax you reported on your return, file an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended US Individual Income Tax Return.

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