How Do You Get Your W-2 Online?
Tax season is quickly approaching, and the sooner you get your information in order, the better. The first thing to do is to get your W-2. A W-2 form is a statement of annual earnings and taxes withheld.
Your employer and the IRS use this to track your wages. It determines how much your return or due amount is at the end of the fiscal year. Some people wait to get these in the mail, but there are much faster ways to access a W-2 online. Here are a few methods to try.
1. Go Through Your Employer
You know the employee website you created an account for when you got hired? It holds more than training documents and explanations for benefit packages. It tracks your earnings, and is the most direct way to get your W-2 online.
Every employer's navigation is a bit different, but typically, the process is a little like this:
- Sign into your account
- Find the Human Resources or Payments page
- Look for Personal Documents, Wage Information, or Tax Forms
- Make sure you're viewing forms/numbers for the current year
- Download and print your W-2
If you're having trouble finding what you need, ask a coworker how they accessed theirs. The process should take less than a few minutes, and it's better to ask than to waste more time looking on your own.
2. Try Third-Party Sites
Another way to access your W-2 online is with the help of reputable online tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block. These websites have search features that enable you to find your W-2 without hassle, and with full security.
Plus, they are built to ease every step of the tax filing process. You can find your W-2, fill out all your statements, and track your possible return along the way. Each service has their own price point and service method, though. Consider the pros and cons before choosing one of the many tax preparation systems available online.
3. Calculate Your Wages
If you still can't find your W-2 online, or if you forgot it at home when you went to meet with your tax preparer, you can calculate your wages. The easiest way to do this is with the information on your final pay stub of the year.
This will have all the information from your current earning period, and all your earnings since January. Take your time looking at all the information, and remember you might have some adjustments to do.
If you have a 401K or insurance premiums, for example, these need to be subtracted from gross taxable wages. It might seem like you're getting less of a return than you should, but remember, this money is already invested in you in other ways.
Accessing a Past Job's W-2 Online
Don't forget to gather all of your different W-2s if you went through a few jobs this year. Everything has to be added up to calculate the most accurate return and keep you in good standing with the IRS.
You can follow one of the steps above to access each W-2 online or reach out to your old employer directly. Here's how to request a W-2 from a previous employer, or you can just generate one here!