Can I Find Out How Much I Will Get Back on My Taxes Without My W-2s?

You can estimate your refund even without a W-2 form.
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By January 31 of next year, you should receive a W-2 reporting this year's taxes from your employer -- or multiple W-2s for multiple employers. The form makes it easy to figure the size of your tax refund -- or how much more you owe -- but you can make the calculations even without a W-2. Before going that route, contact your employer, confirm she has your address right and ask her to resend the form. If a replacement doesn't arrive by February 14, report the absence to the IRS, then prepare to proceed without it.

Step 1

Download form 4852 from the IRS website. The 4852 is the substitute you use when your employer's W-2 doesn't arrive. It's okay to submit the form with your 1040 as long as you've notified your employer and the IRS that the W-2 didn't arrive.

Step 2

Find your last pay stub for the year. The "year to date" or YTD entry tells you how much you earned for the year, how much was taxable -- an amount that excludes contributions to a 401(k), for instance -- and how much tax your employer withheld.

Step 3

Contact the HR department at your company if you can't find a pay stub. Ask for the information. If you signed up for direct deposit, the information for the last pay period of the year should be available electronically.

Step 4

Complete 4852 and your 1040 using your pay stub information to figure your tax, your withholding and how big a refund -- if any -- you're entitled to. Submit the forms to the IRS and wait for your refund.

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