2 Form W-2's: What Happens If You Forget To File One?

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It's estimated that 13 million Americans hold more than one job. For people with a second job, filing a tax return requires an extra step. They need to file a W-2 form for each job they hold. If you forgot to file all of your W-2 forms, you need to know how to make amendments. The IRS will know that it's missing and making the amendment can save you from an audit.
Keep reading to learn more about W-2 forms and filing taxes when you have more than one employer.

What Is A W-2 Form?

If you're employed by an employer, as opposed to being self-employed, then your employer takes income taxes off of every paycheck you get. Employers withhold income taxes because the federal government and most state governments collect those taxes throughout the year. Your W-2 form is a Wage and Tax Statement. It indicates how much of your income was withheld by your employer for both state and federal taxes.
It also gives an exact report of how much money you made. The purpose of the W-2 form is to inform you, the state government, and the federal government as to how much money you earned and how much you paid in taxes. With this information, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines whether you're entitled to a tax refund or whether you owe more taxes.

How Does A W-2 Form Work?

At the beginning of every year, you should receive a W-2 form from your employer. The employer will also send the W-2 into the IRS and the state government. If they don't mail the W-2 to you or the other necessary parties, they face a penalty. You don't actually have to do anything with your W-2 in terms of filling in information. The W-2 will come to you with all the information filled in on your behalf.
All you have to do with the W-2 is to ensure you attach it to your tax return.

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How Does A W-2 Form Work For A Second Job?

If you have a second job, or multiple jobs, you need to have all of your W-2 forms before you prepare and file your taxes. Not only do you need to attach a W-2 form from each of your employers, but you also need the information from all of them to properly fill in your tax forms. The "wages" line of your tax form is where you indicate your total employment income.
You need to combine all of the amounts indicated in Box 1 of your W-2's on that line for an accurate report of how much money you made the previous tax year.

What Happens If You Forget To File A W-2 For Your Second Job?

Remember that you're not the only one reporting your earnings to the IRS. For every W-2 form sent to you, the IRS also receives one from your employers. That means that the IRS will know if you haven't reported income when they attempt to match the W-2's on file with your tax return. If you forgot to attach a copy of a W-2 but you did report the income, you won't face any penalties.
However, if you forgot to include the income and you didn't attach the W-2, it's a bit more serious. One of two things can happen depending on whether the IRS owes you money or not.

If The IRS Owes You Money

If your original return indicates that the IRS owes you money, they might give you that refund without an amendment. More likely, though, you'll have to file an amended return first. The IRS won't send you a letter to tell you if they're withholding your refund until you file the amended return. You'll have three years to file the amendment. Any longer than that and you forfeit your refund.

If You Owe The IRS Money

You will have to pay penalties if you owe the IRS more money than what you reported on your original tax return. You might also have to pay interest on the amount of tax you underpaid. That penalty is 0.5% per month on the balance that you owe. The maximum penalty is 25%. The IRS can take on an additional 20% if they believe that the missing W-2 form was the result of fraud or negligence.
You'll have three years to file an amended return. Without an amended return, the IRS can withhold any refunds you might receive in the following years.

How To File An Amended Return

The amended return form is Form 1040X if your original return was a 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. You cannot file a Form 1040X electronically. Before filling it out, make sure you have your original tax return on hand as well as the W-2 form that you didn't attach. If you don't have that W-2 form, then you can request a replacement from the IRS using Form 4852.
The amended tax form has all the instructions you'll need to fill it out properly. Keep in mind that you only need to include any new or updated information, not repeat anything that was included in the original form. Be sure to calculate your total income using all of your W-2 forms. You also need to recalculate deductions and tax liabilities and report any differences.
There is also a space on the form for you to provide an explanation as to why you need to amend your original filing. Last but not least, be sure to include a copy of the W-2 you didn't originally send.

W-2 Forms At Your Fingertips

The W-2 form is an important piece of information that is sent along with your tax return. It reports how much money you made, how much you paid in taxes, and whether you're owed a refund. The IRS needs a W-2 form for every job a person holds. If you forget to file a W-2 for a second job, you might face penalties and have to pay interest.
Form W-2's should come from employers. Employers that don't provide them can also face penalties. If you need to generate W-2 forms quickly, create one using our W-2 generator today in minutes!

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2 Form W-2's: What Happens If You Forget To File One?
Samantha Clark

A Warrington College of Business graduate, Samantha handles all client relations with our top-tier partners. Read More

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