Missing tax forms can lead the IRS to ask you to amend your return and file again. You should remember to attach all W-2s from all employers when filing your return to avoid a problem. It is the responsibility of every employer to send their employees Form W-2

W-2 or 1099?

It is important to note independent contractors do not typically see a W-2. If you are self-employed, you need to determine your taxes yourself and file Form 1099.

Using your W-2s, you can determine your total income received and calculate your tax liability accordingly. If you received income from interest or dividends, or by selling stock, you will receive a 1099. There are various tax forms related to 1099 such as Form 1099-C Cancellation of Debt and Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income. If you receive income from other sources, you will need to attach the appropriate tax form to report it to the IRS. These forms need to be attached with your W-2 or 1099.

Usually, W-2 and 1099 forms should reach the recipients by the end of January. If they do not, you may use the steps below to avoid a tax issue.

What to Do if You Did Not Receive Your W-2

Contact your employer to inquire if they sent your W-2. Request them to send the W-2 if they have not already.

Contact the IRS on 800-829-1040 if you do not receive your W-2 after February 14.

You can also request an extension to file if the filing deadline is closing in.

File Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2 if you did not receive your W-2 from your employer and your communication with the IRS did not yield the desired results. Estimate your total tax liability and attach Form 4852 with your tax return.

If after filing Form 4852, you receive your W-2 and find discrepancies in what you reported on your return and your actual tax liability, file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to correct the inaccuracies.