Can I File My Taxes Without A W2
Your employer has until January 31 to provide you with a W-2 either by mail or through a website. Make sure that your employers have your current mailing address. If you try to file a return without waiting for the W-2 and the IRS receives your W-2 then your tax return will either be rejected or the IRS will hold your tax return for several weeks or months to investigate the discrepancy.
If you do not receive the W-2 after early February, see this IRS website on how to proceed –
See this TurboTax support FAQ for a missing W-2 –
How Can You Pay Taxes If You Owe The Irs Money
Taxpayers who owe money to the IRS can pay using their bank account without paying a fee. The IRS payment website allows you to use direct pay at no cost by submitting your bank information. You may also pay with a credit card using a third-party payment processor, but there is a fee for doing so.
You can send a check or money order to the IRS to pay your taxes as well, or pay cash to a retail partner. The IRS provides detailed instructions for making cash payments, as well as instructions for where to mail a check or money order.
What Is A W
A W2 is a tax form that documents money paid to you and money withheld from your paycheck. It includes your commissions, tips, wages, and the taxes withheld from your income for federal, state, and social security purposes.
This document has all of the information you will need to fill out the financial information for your personal taxes. If you have worked, the IRS requires that you use your W-2 to file, and then they determine the amount of taxes you should pay the federal and state governments.
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When It Pays To File
For those few who dont legally have to file, it pays sometimes to send in a return anyway.
This is the case for individuals who dont earn much but might be eligible for the earned income tax credit. This benefit is available to qualified individuals even if they owe no tax, meaning they would get money back from the federal government. Many people think the credit is available only to parents while that is not true, the credit amount is greater for eligible low-wage taxpayers with children.
The IRS also says that most individual taxpayers are due a tax refund. But those taxpayers must send in a Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ to get that cash.
You can check out the filing requirements section of IRS Publication 17 for more details.
Once youve determined that you need to file taxes, your next question is likely to be when do I have to file taxes? This year, the deadline for filing your 2021 tax return is Friday, April 15, 2022. If youre still not sure whether you must file a tax return, ask a tax professional, call the IRS at 829-1040 or make an appointment at your nearest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
Understand How Your Taxes Are Determined
The government decides how much tax you owe by dividing your taxable income into chunks also known as tax brackets and each chunk gets taxed at the corresponding tax rate. The beauty of this is that no matter which bracket youre in, you wont pay that tax rate on your entire income.
The progressive tax system in the United States means that people with higher taxable incomes are subject to higher federal income tax rates, and people with lower taxable incomes are subject to lower federal income tax rates.
» MORE:Make sure you’re not overlooking any of these 20 popular tax breaks
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- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Child tax credits
- Student Loan Interest deduction
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When Will You Receive Your Tax Refund?
If you have a refund coming and you choose to e-file your federal taxes, you may be able to receive the money youre owed as little as three weeks time. However, the Internal Revenue Service reports that you may face COVID-19 mail processing delays that lengthen the time for your return if you file a paper tax return or you are required to send additional correspondence.
The IRS also reports that your refund could be delayed if you file for specific tax credits in your 2020 tax return. Specifically, delays should be expected if you filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. This IRS says on their website that, according to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns with these credits before the middle of February.
Affected taxpayers should also know that holds on refunds with these credits extend to the entire amount. The IRS laid this out clearly in a recent bulletin: The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC, they write. Like previous years, some tax refunds may be held if there are questions about the tax return or the IRS needs more information.
Check out this handy chart to see when you can expect your tax refund.
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The Bottom Line
Putting It All Together
My office prepares a small number of these forms every year. In most cases the W-2 or K-1 was never sent to the client or IRS. In cases where the IRS received the information, but the client did not, the IRS sends a letter and we need to amend/adjust for the information the IRS provided unless we have proof a number is wrong or it is obviously wrong.
The best policy is to keep good records yourself. A missing W-2 is only a problem if you did not keep your paystub. A paystub can also be wrong so review your paystub each payroll period. K-1s are hard to verify, but you can track your own capital account . Have your tax professional track your basis in their tax software. Technology makes it so much easier today. Or, keep a record on a simple spreadsheet and keep with your other permanent tax documents.
Here is to a great tax season.
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The Fast Way To Get Your Tax Refund
There are a number of ways to get money early. Filing as early as possible will give you a better chance of being in the first round of returns processed by the IRS. Electronic or e-filing gets your return to the IRS quicker than mailing a paper return. The sooner they receive your return, the sooner they can begin processing. Choosing to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account instead of receiving a check in the mail is also faster.
Another way to get your refund early is to choose to load it onto a Serve® American Express® Card. Your refund will be available up to two days faster* than standard direct deposit. Those two days can mean the difference between getting your refund on a Friday or waiting until Tuesday of the following week. It makes a big difference for most of our hard-working clients.
What Parents Need To Know
When it comes to helping your child file their income taxes, you should know the following:
- Legally, your child bears primary responsibility for filing and signing their own income tax returns. This responsibility can begin at any age, perhaps well before your child becomes eligible to vote.
- According to IRS Publication 929, “If a child can’t file his or her own return for any reason, such as age, the child’s parent, guardian, or another legally responsible person must file it for the child.”
- Your child can receive tax deficiency notices and even be audited. If this happens, you should immediately notify the IRS that the action concerns a child.
- According to IRS Publication 929, “The IRS will try to resolve the matter with the parent or guardian of the child consistent with their authority.”
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Affordable Care Act Premium Credit Claim
If you have health care coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obamacare, you might need to file a return.Specifically, this will be the case if you qualified for federal help in buying your health care coverage through the health insurance marketplace or exchange. If advance payments of the ACA premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse or a dependent who obtained such marketplace medical coverage, that amount must be reported by filing a Form 1040 tax return and Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.
This will ensure that you got the appropriate tax credit in advance. If you received too much premium help, youll have to repay it when you file your return. If you did not get enough, you can collect the extra when you file.
How Do You Decide Whether To Claim The Standard Deduction Or To Itemize
In addition to filing status, the choice of whether to itemize or take the standard deduction is one of the two most important decisions you’ll make when filing taxes.
When you take the standard deduction, you are able to deduct a set amount of income from your taxes based on your filing status. For the 2020 tax year, the standard deduction is:
- $12,400 if you file as single or married filing separately
- $18,650 if you file as head of household
- $24,800 if you file as married filing jointly
If you take the standard deduction, you are allowed to take a few additional tax deductions as well, such as a deduction for contributions to an IRA or a deduction for student loan interest. There are many other deductions you can only claim, though, if you itemize.
If you choose to itemize instead of taking the standard deduction, you deduct from your taxable income for specific things — but you do not deduct the $12,400, $18,650, or $24,800 standard deduction. You should itemize only if the total combined value of your itemized deductions exceeds the standard deduction.
Some of the deductions you can only claim if you itemize include deductions for:
- State and local taxes paid
- Mortgage interest
- Medical expenses that exceed a certain percentage of income
- Investment expenses
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File Your Taxes With A Missing Or Incorrect W
As the tax deadline approaches we will discuss two problems preventing you from filing your tax return missing or inaccurate tax documents, especially W-2s and K-1s. Some small employers forget to send W-2s or go out of business other businesses may send incorrect forms. K-1s are the worse. With a K-1 you may not even know what the numbers should be and they always come just before the extension deadline.
There is a process in finalizing your tax return when information reported to you is wrong. The IRS knows some tax reporting documents have errors. Unfortunately, the IRS computer only believes what it sees.
Once information is reported to the IRS you need to make sure you tell the IRS computer what it wants to hear or you will end up in IRS hell getting letter after letter while the IRS employee working your case is never available. The best course of action is to avoid the IRS letter or audit in the first place. There is a process to fix wrong information.
What If I Need A W2 From A Previous Year
Dont worry if you cant find your W-2 online from a previous year. Getting a copy of a W-2 is relatively easy. There are two options you have for you to get a W-2 from an earlier year.
Option #1: Contact your Employer
Contacting the employer who issued the lost W-2 is the easiest way to obtain a copy. Your employer or former employers payroll department is sure to be saving important tax data like W-2s. Ask them to send you a copy. It is very simple and wont take much time.
Option #2: Contact the IRS
If it isnt feasible to contact the employer who issued the W-2, your next option would be to contact the IRS and ask for a 4506 form. There will be a cost to this option, and it will take some time. It is always better to get the W-2 form to file your tax return from a previous year instead of not filing at all.
Here is what you should be aware of when requesting a W-2 form for a previous year from the IRS:
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What Should You Do With Your Tax Refund
Ideally, you should try not to get a tax refund, although many people like getting this big chunk of change every year. When you receive a tax refund, you’ve tied up your money and given the IRS an interest-free loan when you could’ve used that cash to pay down debt or save for emergencies. Avoid getting a refund next year by asking your HR contact to adjust the amount being withheld from your paycheck.
If you do receive a refund, be smart about how to use the money by:
- Paying down debt
- Saving for long-term goals such as the down payment on a home
- Putting the money into your retirement account
- Investing in the stock market for the long term
Use the money in a way that benefits your long-term financial horizon rather than splurging on things that don’t add real value to your life.
How To File Form 4852
The IRS does not accept online submissions of Form 4852, so you will need to print and mail the required forms to the IRS. To fill out this form, you will need to enter the following:
- Estimated numbers for all wages earned and taxes withheld that would have been listed on your W-2
- A statement explaining how you came up with those numbers
- Your employers name and address
- An explanation of how you tried to obtain your W-2 from your employer
The information you enter on this form can be a good faith estimate, but if you later obtain information suggesting your numbers werent correct, you are required to file an amended return with updated information.
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File Now Deduct Later
The IRS limits how much you can claim with various deductions and credits. For example, you can’t claim a home office deduction so large that it would put your business into the red. Instead, you claim zero business income for the year, and carry any leftover deduction into the next year.
If you have deductions or credits carrying over,
- you can’t claim them if you have no income, but
- you need to file your taxes to claim them in a future year when you do have income.