Where To Submit W2 Correction Request - Full Guide
To file your taxes, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) receives the wage and tax statement, the W2 form. This is the form employers use to report income and withholding taxes to the Social Security Administration (SSA). As an employee, you use the same form provided by your employer to submit your income tax to the state and federal government.
However, sometimes the form may contain errors that you may notice before or after submitting your taxes. So what happens and where do you present the W2 correction request? Continue reading to find out.
Checking your W2 form mistakes
Errors on W2 forms are more common than you may think. You may notice mistakes when you receive your W2 from the employer in readiness to file your taxes. Sometimes the income reported may be wrong or other details such as the name and Social Security Number (SSN). You need to always check the W2 from the employer against your records, particularly on wages.
When you notice any errors, you need to get the situation fixed as soon as possible. The reason you need to act fast is so you meet the deadline for filing taxes. There are a few options available for you, and the rules and guidelines are pretty straightforward. Here are the common W2 mistakes you should look for:
Incorrect employee name and SSN
Check if your name and SSN have been entered correctly. Mistakes in your name and SSN are among the most common mistakes made by employers when submitting W2 forms. The SSA can’t credit wage earnings to you if these details are incorrect. The name and SSN on the W2 form must match that in their files.
If your wages can’t be credited to you, this can result in you potentially losing benefits associated with paying your taxes. If this mistake isn’t corrected, the IRS will reject your tax return, and there may be consequences on your part.
Wages and withholding amounts
This has a lot of significance in your tax reports. It needs to be reported correctly to enable you to pay the right amount in taxes. If it’s incorrect, remember that it’s tied to your SSN and will affect the benefits you’ll qualify for in the future. You can verify the amounts using your check stubs.
Incorrect or missing Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Both the IRS and SSA keep their employment records by the EIN. The employer needs to ensure that they use the correct EIN. Otherwise, the taxes may end up in the wrong record. Having inaccurate or missing EIN may lead to penalties for failing to file in the correct report.
Using titles and abbreviations in name fields
The employer should enter your name without titles or abbreviations for the designation of employee positions. Otherwise, the SSA can’t electronically identify your name on the form to know whose wages the employer is reporting.
Apart from abbreviations and titles, the IRS identifies other formatting mistakes as errors on the W2 form. They include the correct use of decimals and cents on amounts and the use of other inks except for black. The font size should be legible and fitting within the text boundaries. The money amounts should also not contain the dollar sign.
Using a form from the wrong year
The W2 forms change each year. Ensure that your employer has sent you the W2 form for the correct tax year. Leftover forms from the previous years won’t work. For instance, the form for 2020 wages is the 2021 W2 form.
These are just some of the most common mistakes that make the W2 erroneous. Ensure the information on the W2 is really an error before you take any action. Sometimes the amounts reported may be slightly different from those on your pay stub. This arises from adjustments in tax benefits or your taxable income.
Also read: What is the Form W2?
Where to submit W2 correction request
The first place you submit your correction request is with your employer, particularly on the issue of reported amounts. Seek verifications from your employer. Sometimes, the mistakes you find in your W2 form arise from human error, and the employer may not have an issue giving you a corrected W2 form.
The employer will be required to fill and submit form W2c in that case to correct the form W2 errors, including the following:
Inaccurate name, SSN, or address
Wrong or missing IEN
Incorrect tax withholdings and wages
Wrong tax year
The employer won’t need to submit a W2c if the form is yet to be filed with the SSA. In this case, the employer can mark the incorrect form as void and create a new W2 with the correct information. The employer will give you the new form to enable you to file your taxes with the SSA.
However, you may also encounter a situation where the employer refuses to clarify or decline to issue you with a corrected W2 form. The IRS advises that you submit your correction request to the IRS if your employer has not corrected your form by the end of February of the current year. You can do this by calling the IRS toll-free number provided or make an appointment to visit the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) at the IRS.
Contacting the IRS
Suppose you encounter significant and obvious errors with your W2 form and your employer isn’t helpful or is uncooperative. In that case, you need to forward the matter to the IRS for follow up on the issue. The IRS will take up the matter and conduct direct investigations. You will need to have the following information with you when you make contact with the IRS:
Your name, SSN, phone number, and address
Your employer’s name, EIN (if you have it), address, and phone number
The estimated wages, withholding taxes, and dates of employment.
For the last item, you can gather this information from your check stub.
The IRS will send your employer a letter asking them to file a corrected W2 form within ten days. They’ll also notify them of the penalties they may be subject to should they fail to submit the corrected form. The IRS will also send you a letter together with form 4852 to substitute form W2 that you can use to submit your taxes if the employer fails to submit a corrected form W2.
Filling out form 4852
As stated earlier, you’ll need to fill form 4852 if your employer fails to correct your W2. It’s a substitute for forms W2 and W2c. The taxpayer fills and submits it in two situations: either your employer didn’t give you your W2 or they issued an incorrect W2. In case of a missing W2, you can try using a W2 form generator to see if you can get it. Otherwise, this is how you fill the form 4852:
Line 1, box 6: Enter your name, address, and SSN on lines 1 to 3. You’ll need to specify whether you’re missing your W2 and the year it pertains on line 4. You’ll fill your employer’s name on box 5, while their tax ID goes in box 6. Without the employer’s tax ID, you won’t be able to file the form electronically.
Line 7a–7i: This is where you add the form W2 substitute information. This includes items such as gross pay, taxes withheld, state income tax information, and Social Security and Medicare taxes. You can get these figures from your pay stubs. If you don’t have your pay stubs, estimate the amounts.
Line 8a–8j: You can get this information from your pension statement, and you can estimate the figures if you can’t access the exact figures.
Line 9: This is where you explain how you arrived at the figures you input. This can be through statements, paystubs, or estimates.
Line 10: Here, you elaborate and describe your efforts to get your employer to correct your W2.
Also read: My Options If I've Lost My W2 Form
File your returns on time
Notably, you still need to file your returns before the deadline, whether you’re correcting your W2 forms. If you need more time to file your taxes, request an extension using form 4868, an application for an automatic extension.
However, the extension is only for submitting your form and not for payment. Ensure that you pay your taxes by the deadline as you sort out other issues with the forms.
The IRS is pretty helpful to taxpayers who have issues with their W2 forms and will always provide the help they need. So if your employer is not cooperating or is unavailable to correct the errors in your W2 form, don’t panic. The IRS will contact the employer on your behalf and provide alternative ways to file your taxes if need be.
It’s advisable always to keep your pay stubs and income records to help you review and verify W2 forms and provide the correct information in case of discrepancies. However, the same way the IRS notices and assists those trying to keep their tax records clean, they also notice errors in filed W2 forms. It’s safer for you to remedy the situation instead of waiting for the IRS to find you out.