What Happens If I Only File One Of My Two Form W-2's?


If you're reading this article, you're probably asking yourself: What happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 w2s? In that case, you might have made a mistake on your tax return. In this article, we’ll cover what to do now and what to expect. Filing taxes is never fun, but failing to do so can be even more stressful.
While ordinarily, you may only receive one W-2 form from your employer, there's a protocol to follow should you receive a second. This usually occurs when your employer is an agency or if your company changes ownership or payroll providers during the tax year. If you receive multiple W-2 forms, you should add those amounts together and include the total on your IRS form 1040.
If you receive a duplicate, filing both isn’t necessary. You can file just one of them for taxes and include only the income from a single form on your return. Let's dive in!

Does My Business Have to File W-2 Forms With the State?

In this article, we will focus on answering the question: what happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 w2s? If you are a business, you too have to file each form with the IRS. However, in some states, you may also have to submit w-2 documents to the state in order to do business. Check if this is a requirement for you.

What Happens if I Am a Dependent Filing Taxes and Only File One of My 2 W-2s?

If you make a mistake on your tax return, you might face penalties. The outcome of your error does depend on the type of error and how the situation is handled. If you fail to send a second W-2, this means you have not reported your full income. A mistake of this nature should be reported and fixed as soon as possible! Here are a few scenarios to consider:

If You Realized the Mistake Right After Filing…

If you made a mistake, you can’t just refile a new tax return. The IRS would not know which is the right one. As such, you’ll have to follow the proper steps to correct incorrect tax returns. This involves filling in an amended return. In the case of W-2s, you should file a Form 1040-X, an amended tax return. Doing so may incur penalties.

If the IRS Finds Your Mistake When Processing the Return…

If you weren’t aware of your mistake and didn’t file an amendment, the IRS might notify you that you made a mistake in your return. You’ll usually receive a notice that tells you which form to complete to correct the error. In this case, simply follow the instructions provided. Usually, you will have a timeline of around 20-30 days to comply.
Don’t panic if you receive a letter - the IRS sends thousands of these and simply wants to see issues fixed as soon as possible.

Click Here to Create Your Form W-2 in Less Than 2 Minutes

If the Mistake Isn’t Found…

If neither you nor the IRS notice and report the mistake on time, the tax return could be processed regardless. This could increase or decrease your refund, depending on how the second W-2 form would have swayed the amount. Suppose the mistake is uncovered later when conducting audits of your files. In that case, you may owe interest on any amount that should have been paid.
You may also have to repay part of the refund issued to you if this was more than you should have been given.

What if I Haven’t Received a W-2?

If you were expecting one or more W-2 forms but haven’t received them, you should check up on this as soon as you notice to avoid tax return errors. Check online! Many employers now send W-2 forms electronically, and they might have been caught in your spam folder. If you can’t find your form, the next step is to request your employer to reissue the form.
The last resort is to contact the IRS, who will walk you through all necessary steps.

Also read: Here’s How to Change Your W2 Wage

How to Avoid Tax Filing Mistakes Throughout The Year

You’re only human, and mistakes happen quickly. Regardless, you can save yourself the headache and stress of refiling amended tax returns. It’s essential you prevent errors wherever possible. Minimize your chances for errors by following simple best practices:

Collect All the Information First

While an early refund is tempting, you should only file taxes once you have all the information. This ensures that you can collect all necessary forms together and keep track of your W-2s.

Consider Hiring an Accountant

If you’re unsure about tax returns, an experienced professional can help you file taxes and make sure you’ve covered all your bases. This also means you can often get the most out of deductions. Most professionals would file a free amended return if they made any mistakes!

Keep up With Your Finances Throughout the Year

Keep receipts and payments recorded throughout the year. Maintain all your income forms in an organized manner. Once tax season comes around, you’ll have a much easier time getting everything ready. One great way to make sure you have your finances documented and ready to go is to print pay stubs. These serve as proof of income and help you track salary information, taxes paid, overtime pay, and more.

Also read: Getting A Copy Of A Prior Year W2 Form 

What Happens if I Am a Dependent Filing Taxes and Only File One of My 2 w2s?

We hope that having read this article, you now know the answer to the question: What happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 W-2s? If you’re unsure about completing your W-2s, use our W-2 form generator. Our online tool is simple to use and can save you tons of time. Enjoy peace of mind with correct and complete W-2 information.
If you have further questions, you can check out our frequently asked questions sections for more information. We hope me made tax season just a bit easier on you today! Try out our paystubs generator today!

Also read: Submitting a W2 Correction Request

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you must include all your W-2's when filing your taxes. Filing without one of your W-2's can lead to inaccurate reporting of your income and taxes, which may result in penalties from the IRS.

You can check the status of your amended return using the "Where's My Amended Return?" tool on the IRS website. You will need your Social Security number, date of birth, and zip code to access the information.

You can request a wage and income transcript from the IRS online, by phone, or by mail. To request online, visit the IRS "Get Transcript" webpage. To request by phone, call 1-800-908-9946. To request by mail, complete Form 4506-T and mail it to the address provided on the form.

Being a dependent means someone else claims you on their tax return. Your filing requirement and any potential tax refund or liability will still depend on your own income, deductions, and credits. It's essential to include all your W-2's when filing, regardless of your dependent status.

Generally, you have three years from the date you filed your original tax return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, to file an amended tax return.

If you have already filed your taxes with only one of your W-2's, you will need to file an amended tax return using Form 1040-X to include the missing W-2.

Form W-2 is a tax document that employers are required to send to their employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year. It reports an employee's annual wages, tips, commissions, and the amount of taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Contact your employer and request a duplicate W-2. They are required to provide you with a copy. If you are unable to obtain a copy from your employer, you can request a transcript of your wage and income information from the IRS.

If you file an incomplete tax return, you may be subject to penalties and interest on any additional taxes owed. However, if you file an amended tax return as soon as you realize the mistake, the penalties and interest may be minimized.
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What Happens If I Only File One Of My Two Form W-2's?
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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