Tax season is here again which means taxpayers are gathering their financial statements with hopes that they will get a nice refund in return. When you're preparing your taxes, you are going to need an assortment of documents and one of the most important is your W-2 form. Each company that you worked for during the prior year is responsible for providing you with a W-2, which you should have before January 31 of the present year.
How to find your W-2 form online
Many taxpayers are going to be able to get their W-2 form online. In order to be able to get your W-2 online your employer has to make it available or use a company who has payroll services. Many companies are making their employees W-2 forms available online because it makes filing taxes easier. If you use online filing services such as, TurboTax or H&R Block you have the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.
Wages & withholdings on form W-2
The IRS requires all employers to report the wages and the salaries for their employees on a Form W-2. The W-2 Form also reports the federal, state, and all other taxes that have been withheld from your paycheck.
As an employee, it is important that your W-2 information is correct when you prepare your taxes. The IRS requires that your employer have this form to them no later than January 31. If you are an employee, you will receive a W-2. However, if you are an independent contractor or self-employed you will receive a Form 1099.
The W-2 form contains various boxes where information regarding your income is displayed. In box 1 on the form, you will see your annual wage and salary payments and then in box 2 you will find the federal tax that was withheld from the wage and salary. Only a portion of your income goes to social security tax and that is found in box 3. Other boxes on the form include Medicare tax, state income tax withholding, and other applicable information.
Why your tax withholding is important
Throughout the year, your employer withholds money from your checks for federal income taxes. You may not know this; however, it is done so you do not have to make a large lump sum payment on April 15. This is something that the IRS requires from everyone yet employees are able to have their employers do this for them to avoid financial trouble down the line.
When preparing your federal return and calculating the tax for the year, the withholding amount is subtracted from your tax bill. Once this is done you, will either get a refund or have an outstanding amount to pay. If you file state income taxes, the same calculation will be performed so you know how much to pay the state.
Make sure your name and Social Security number is correct
It is important to make sure that your W-2 has your name and social security number listed correctly. When you file your taxes, the IRS expects the information to match your W-2 or they will need to know why it does not match. The IRS uses your W-2 to compare with the income that you report on your tax return.
Keep in mind, the IRS probably has your W-2 before you do. Therefore, if you do not file your tax return it is not unlikely for them to contact you directly. In the event your W-2 is incorrect, you must report it to your employer immediately so they can get the correct version to the IRS.
Attaching form W-2
Once your tax return is complete, you have to attach your W-2 form. If you file with TurboTax or H&R Block they will attach it for you automatically when they e-file your return. However, if you decide to file via the mail you are responsible for attaching a copy of your W-2.
If you have moved or are missing your documents
Many taxpayers face missing their tax documents because they have moved during the previous year and their tax forms are sent to their prior address. If you sign up to get your W 2 forms online, you are able to eliminate having your forms sent to the wrong address.
Additionally, when you get your forms online you usually are able to access them before they would arrive in the mail. This way you can be ahead of everyone else when tax season comes which means you will receive your refund sooner.
When getting your W-2 form online you will receive an email notification once they are available. Lastly, when you access your forms online you are able to download and print your forms whenever you need them. This way you do not have to worry about keeping them in a safe place then forgetting what the safe place was.
Overall, when you get your W2 form online it is going to be the same form that you would usually receive in the mail. You will find that it has the same information and the only difference is it is a digital copy. However, before you print it and use it to file your taxes it is important that you make sure all of the information is accurate. It is important to check your name and social security number.
Correcting W-2 information
In the event that you find information on your W 2 to be inaccurate, you have to contact your employer to have it rectified. They have sent this information to the IRS so the information you send them should match that information or you are going to have to answer the IRS regarding why the information does not match.
Furthermore, if you are missing an expected W-2 you cannot dismiss it even if it is only for a small amount of money. The IRS is going to have a copy from your employer and is going to want to know why you did not file the form.
Tax information imported into tax return
When you decide to get your W-2 form online, it is one of the easiest methods of keeping track of your tax information. Therefore, it is something that you are definitely going to want to consider. Not all employers will have this option available to their employees so it is important to make sure that you check first to make sure that you are eligible to get your W-2 form online.
If you are someone who files their taxes with TurboTax or H&R Block you will be grateful to know that they can import the information from your W-2 form for you to make filing taxes easier. This way you can rest assured that your tax return is accurate, and guaranteed to get the largest tax refund or pay the minimum amount of taxes possible.