What Happens If My W2 Is Incorrect?

Incorrect information on a W-2 could mean big headaches if the mistake is not corrected.

Incorrect information on a W-2 could mean big headaches if the mistake is not corrected.

So you think you're going to be a good little boy and get those taxes in early. But when the W-2 from your employer finally comes, you notice that some of the information is wrong. Don't panic. There are ways to correct your tax information and still file your taxes on time.

Quick Timing

So there may be a teeny-weeny little mistake on your form. You caught it, but you think, what's the harm? Actually that little mistake can turn into big problems if it remains uncorrected. An incorrect W-2 form may throw off your tax return numbers, preventing you from receiving a refund, or causing a tax debt you don't owe. If the IRS sees the mistake, it can also trigger an audit. Therefore, the best way to deal with the situation is get the W-2 corrected as quickly as possible.

Request a New W2

If you think your W-2 is wrong, contact your employer and let her know immediately. Generally, your employer can quickly issue you a new W-2, also known as a W-2c, with the correct information. Just be sure to contact your employer as soon as you realize the mistake. Your employer will not be able to get you a new form in time if you wait until April 14.

Contact the IRS

If your employer is not responding, isn't getting the corrected form to you quick enough or refuses to correct the form, it's time to contact the IRS. When you call the Internal Revenue Service, you will be asked to provide information such as your Social Security number, approximate income, and name and address, as well as information on your employer. Once the IRS has that information, it will contact your employer to request a W-2c.

Form 4852

If the IRS is unable to get the W-2C from your employer, it will send you Form 4852 along with instructions on completing the form. Form 4582 serves as a substitute for your W-2. Simply fill out the information on your form and file it along with your tax return. Keep in mind that the information needs to be correct and will be verified by the IRS so carefully look over the form before sending it. Also, the April 15 tax date still applies, so make sure you do this before taxes come due.


About the Author

Casey Anderson is a part-time writer and full-time marketer who has been published on websites such as Opposing Views and Salon. She has also contributed articles to local Detroit Magazines, Strut and Orbit. A Wayne State University Master of Business Administration graduate, Nation began her writing career in 2001 and has extensive experience in business and research writing.

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