|FAQ Keyword 204
||2006 Tax Year
Can I get copies of my prior year Forms W-2 from the IRS?
The quickest way to obtain a copy of a prior year Form W-2 (PDF) is through your employer. If that is not possible, you can order
and pay for copies of your entire return (attachments include Form W-2 (PDF)) from IRS, or order Form W-2 (PDF) information
at no charge from the IRS. The IRS can provide Form W-2 (PDF) information for up to 10 years. Information for the current year
is generally not available until the year after it is filed with the IRS.
For example, Form W-2 (PDF) information for 2005,
filed in 2006, will not be available from IRS until 2007.
To receive a copy of your return or transcript, complete and mail Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return or Form 4506-T (PDF) Request for Transcript of Tax Return. You
should allow 60 calendar days for a response.
I got married and I have not changed the name on my social security
card to my married name. My Form W-2 is in my married name but my tax forms
came in my maiden name. Should I file with my maiden name or married name?
It is important that the name the Social Security Administration (SSA)
has in its system for your social security number agrees with the name on
your tax return. You have a choice. You can file with your maiden name and
contact the Social Security Administration after
you file your return. Or, if you have enough time before the due date of your
return, you can contact the Social Security Administration and have your records
changed. Please wait 10 days to file your tax return.
To change the name shown on your social security card, you need to complete Form SS-5, Application for
a Social Security Card. You can obtain Form SS-5 Form
SS-5 by calling SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or visiting your local SSA office.
Note: Form SS-5 is filed
The Social Security Administration will issue you a new security card reflecting
your married name and automatically send an update to us.
May an employer provide me my Form W-2 electronically?
Yes, an employer may furnish your Form W-2 (PDF) electronically
provided certain criteria are met. You must affirmatively consent to receive
the Form W-2 (PDF) in an electronic format and prior
to, or at the time of, your consent, your employer must provide you a disclosure
statement containing specific disclosures. Additionally, the electronic version
of the Form W-2 (PDF) must contain all required information
and comply with applicable revenue procedures relating to substitute statements
to recipients. If the statement is furnished on a Web site, then your employer
must notify you, via mail, electronic mail, or in person, that the statement
is posted on a Web site and provide instructions on accessing and printing
I didn't get my W-2 by January 31, so I asked my employer for it,
but I still don't have it. What should I do?
If you don't receive your Form W-2 (PDF) by February
15, contact the IRS for assistance at (800) 829-1040. Also, you may want to
refer to Tax Topic 154, Form W-2 - What To Do if Not Received, to
see the specific information the IRS will need in order to prepare a Form
4598, Form W-2, 1098 or 1099 Nor Received, Incorrect, or Lost. You will be
sent a copy of Form 4598 along with a Form 4852,Substitute for Form W-2,
Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099R,Distributions from Pensions,
Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contract, etc.
I have already filed my return and now I have received another Form
W-2. What can I do?
If you find that you have done any of the following, you should file an
amended return 1) you did not report some income; 2) you claimed deductions
or credits you should not have claimed; 3) you failed to claim some deductions
or credits you are entitled to; or 4) you used an incorrect filing status.
The form you use to correct the Form 1040 (PDF), Form 1040A (PDF), or Form 1040EZ (PDF),
you already filed is Form 1040X (PDF), Amended
U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Please refer to Tax Topic 308, Amended
Returns, for additional information.
I received an incorrect W-2 form. I can't get my former employer
to issue a corrected W-2? What should I do?
If your attempts to have an incorrect Form W-2 (PDF) corrected
by your employer are unsuccessful and it is after February 15th, contact the
IRS at (800) 829-1040. An IRS representative can initiate a Form W-2 (PDF) complaint. Form 4598, Form W-2 or 1099 Not Received or Incorrect,
will be sent to the employer and a copy will be sent to you along with Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax
Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement
or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. The copy that
the employer receives will advise him or her of the employer's responsibilities
to provide a correct Form W-2 (PDF) and of the penalties
for failure to do so. When you call the IRS or visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance
Center (TAC), please have the following information available:
- Your employer's name and complete address, including zip code, employer
identification number (if known - see prior year's Form W-2 (PDF) if you worked for the same employer), and telephone number,
- Your name, address, including zip code, social security number, and telephone
- An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld,
and the period you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based
on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings
statement, if possible.
If you file your return and attach Form 4852 (PDF) to
support the withholding amount claimed instead of a Form W-2 (PDF), your refund can be delayed while the information you gave us is
If you receive a Form W-2 (PDF) after you file
your return and it does not agree with the income or withheld tax you reported
on your return, file an amended return on Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
What box on the Form W-2 do I use to determine my income to go on
my tax return? What are all of these other boxes for? Does the amount from
any other box go anywhere on my tax return?
For most people, only the amount in box 1 (wages, tips, other compensation)
needs to be reported as income on your tax return. If you are an employee
who receives tips, you may have to include the amount from box 8 (allocated
tips) as income on your return.
Any employer-provided dependent care benefits listed in box 10 that are
not excludable from income must be reported as wages on Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF). Any credit taken
for child and dependent care expenses must be reported on your return. Refer
to Form 2441 (PDF), or Form 1040A, Schedule 2 (PDF) Child and Dependent Care Expenses, to determine
the amount, if any, of the exclusion or credit.
Employer-provided adoption benefits that must be used to complete Form 8839 (PDF), Qualified Adoption Expenses, appear in box
12 with a code T. Employer contributions to a medical savings account (MSA),
which you report on Form 8853 (PDF), Archer
MSAs and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts, also appear in box 12 with
a code R. Employer-provided benefits may be taxable as compensation under
certain conditions. Refer to the relevant form instructions.
If you received advanced earned income credit payments from your employer
(box 9), you must include the amount on your individual income tax return Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF).
The other boxes either display information that the employer wanted to
provide to you, or contain information that must be reported to the Social
Security Administration or to the IRS.
Should Line 10, Dependent Care Benefits, of my Form W-2 be included
when calculating my income?
A portion of the amount in Box 10 of the Form W-2 (PDF) may
be includable in your income. Please refer to the Form 2441 Instructions, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, 1040A filers refer
to Form 1040A, Schedule 2 (PDF), Child and
Dependent Care Expenses for 1040A Filers to determine how much, if any,
of the dependent care benefits may be excluded. If you meet the requirements
described in Form 2441 (PDF), Child and Dependent
Care Expenses, you may be able to exclude all or part of dependent care
benefits provided under a qualified employer plan. However, this amount is
reduced or eliminated if your earned income (or your spouse's earned income)
is less than the annual exclusion amount, or if your child is not under age
13. Any benefits that exceed the exclusion limit are also includable in your
income, and your employer should have included these amounts in Boxes 1, 3,
and 5 of your Form W-2 (PDF) in addition to reporting
these amounts in Box 10. The amount you can exclude is figured and claimed
by completing Part III of Form 2441 (PDF) or Schedule
2 of Form 1040A (PDF).
What is the difference between a Form W-2 and a Form 1099-MISC?
Both of these forms are called information returns. The Form W-2 is used
by employers to report wages, tips and other compensation paid to an employee.
The form also reports the employee's income tax and Social Security taxes
withheld and any advanced earned income credit payments. The Form W-2 is provided
by the employer to the employee and the Social Security Administration. A
Form 1099-MISC is used to report payments made in the course of a trade or
business to another person or business who is not an employee. The form is
required among other things, when payments of $10 or more in gross royalties
or $600 or more in rents or compensation are paid. The form is provided by
the payor to the IRS and the person or business that received the payment.
How do you determine if a person is an employee or an independent
The determination is complex, but is essentially made by examining the
right to control how, when, and where the person performs services. It is
not based on how the person is paid, how often the person is paid, or whether
the person works part-time or full-time. There are three basic areas which
determine employment status:
- behavioral control
- financial control and
- relationship of the parties
For more information on employer-employee relationships, refer to Chapter
2 of Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide and
Chapter 2 of Publication 15-A (PDF), Employer's
Supplemental Tax Guide. If you would like the IRS to determine whether
services are performed as an employee or independent contractor, you may submit Form SS-8 (PDF), Determination of Worker Status for Purposes
of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.
Unless you think you were an employee, you should report your nonemployee
compensation on Form 1040, Schedule C (PDF), Profit
or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship), or Form 1040, Schedule C-EZ (PDF), Net Profit From Business. You also need
to complete Form 1040, Schedule SE (PDF), Self-Employment
Tax, and pay self-employment tax on your net earnings from self-employment,
if you had net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more. This is the
method by which self-employed persons pay into the social security and Medicare
Generally, there are no tax withholdings on this income. Thus, you may
have been subject to the requirement to make quarterly estimated tax payments.
If you did not make timely estimated tax payments, you may be assessed a penalty
for an underpayment of estimated tax. Employees pay into the social security
and Medicare trust funds, as well as income tax withholding, through payroll
If you are not sure whether you are an independent contractor or an employee,
complete Form SS-8 (PDF), Determination of
Employee Work Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax
Withholding. For more information on employer-employee relationships,
refer to Chapter 2 of Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's
Tax Guide, and Chapter 2 of Publication 15-A (PDF), Employer's
Supplemental Tax Guide, and Publication 1779 (PDF), Employee
Independent Contractor Brochure. For information on the tax responsibilities
of self-employed persons, refer to Chapter 2 of Publication 505, Tax
Withholding and Estimated Tax.
When an employer provides day care assistance, should the employer's
contribution be reported in box 10 of Form W-2?
Yes. An employer reports dependent care assistance payments in box 10 on
We are about to hire employees and need to know how much tax to
take out and where to send this money?
You will need to secure a completed Form W-4 (PDF), Employee's
Withholding Allowance Certificate, from each employee. You will need Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, and Publication 15-A (PDF), Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, to determine
the amount of withholding and for directions on depositing the withholding
amounts and other employment taxes.
Generally, employers will quarterly file Form 941 (PDF), Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, and annually
file Form 940 (PDF), Employer's Annual Federal
Unemployment Tax Return (FUTA), and Form W-2 (PDF), Wage
and Tax Statement, with Form W-3 (PDF), Transmittal
of Income and Tax Statements.
If I file electronically, what do I do with my W-2 forms?
When filing electronically you must provide Form W-2 (PDF) to the authorized IRS e-file provider before the provider sends
the electronic return to the IRS. In addition, you should keep them in a safe
place with a copy of your tax return. For general information about e-file,
refer to Tax Topic 252, Electronic Filing.
I have a small business. Who is required to file Forms W-2 electronically?
Any person, including corporations, partnerships, employers, estates, and
trusts, who files 250 or more information returns of any Form 1042-S (PDF), Form 1099, Form 1098 (PDF), Form 5498 (PDF), Form 8027 (PDF), Form 8851 (PDF), Form W-2 (PDF),
or Form W-2G (PDF), for any calendar year, must
file these returns electronically or magnetically. For more information, refer
to Tax Topic 801, Who Must File Magnetically, or Tax Topic 805, Electronic
Filing of Information Returns.
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