Can I File a W2 That I Forgot in the Next Year?

You can only report income to the IRS for the year you earned it.

You can only report income to the IRS for the year you earned it.

Many people are so eager to file their tax returns that they do it before obtaining all necessary Forms W-2. These oversights are fairly common. The Internal Revenue Service typically discovers if you omitted information from a specific W-2 when you sent your tax return. In those cases, the IRS sends a notice to you correcting the situation. If you discover the error yourself, you can file an amended tax return. Tax returns must report income for the year in which it was earned. You cannot report income earned in one tax year on the income tax return for the next.

Complete the top of Form 1040X page 1 through the part titled “Amended return filing status.”

Enter in Column A the amounts from your original tax return that correspond with the descriptions of each line.

Record on Lines 1 and 5 of Column B the amount of taxable wages in Box 1 the Form W-2.

Enter on Line 11, Column B, the amount of taxes withheld in Box 2 of Form W-2.

Place the figures in Column C that comprise the amounts from Column A plus Column B.

Compute for Line 6, Column C, the tax on your income from Line 5, Column C, by using the tax tables in the instructions for Form 1040.

Calculate the amounts for Lines 15 through 22 by following the directions on each line.

Provide an explanation in Part III that you are amending your tax return to account for a previously omitted Form W-2.

Sign and date the form.

Items you will need

  • IRS Form 1040X
  • Copy of original income tax return
  • Omitted Form W-2
  • Instructions for Form 1040


  • Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Attach the Form W-2 that has the information you used to file the amended tax return.
  • You can only amend a tax return within three years of the filing date for your original return. If you paid tax after the due date, you have two years from that payment to file an amended return.


About the Author

Brian Huber has been a writer since 1981, primarily composing literature for businesses that convey information to customers, shareholders and lenders. Huber has written about various financial, accounting and tax matters and his published articles have appeared on various websites. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images