As the deadline to file your individual tax returns quickly approaches, make sure you are prepared with all of the necessary documents. If you don't have your Form W-2, you should know how to find it!
What Form Do I Need to File My Taxes?
The most important document you need to file your taxes is your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Your employer or payer will complete this form at the end of the year.
Where is my Form W-2?
Your employer or payer is required to mail you your Form W-2 by January 31. If January 31 falls on a weekend or federal holiday, they have until the following business day to take action. If your employer or payer gave you the option to receive your Form W-2 electronically, then the form should be posted in the portal or received by January 31. You could receive an email notification from the portal that your W-2 is prepared, but make sure it is a legitimate email and not a W-2 phishing scam before entering any information!
If you are expecting your Form W-2 by mail, be sure to be patient! However, it is always best to ensure your mailing address is updated and correct. If you recently moved to a new mailing address, you might need to contact your employer or payer and confirm your address was updated in time.
If you elected to receive your Form W-2 electronically and expect to find it in your employee portal, make sure you are looking for your W-2 Tax Statement. This is different from your W-4 information, where you can update your elections.
What is the difference between Form W-4 and Form W-2?
One common misunderstanding for employees entering the workforce is the difference between Form W-4 and Form W-2. The Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate, is the form you need to fill out as the new employee. This form determines the correct amount of federal income tax for each of your paychecks. Some states have established their own withholding forms you may need to fill out. You can find the necessary state withholding forms and more information for your state at PaycheckCity.com under Payroll Resources!
New employees need to fill out the necessary W-4 themselves before their first paycheck is issued. Your employer should provide more information on when exactly they need the form and where to find it. At the end of the year, your employer or payer will use Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to record the amount you were paid throughout the year and the amount of taxes withheld. Once you receive your Form W-2, you can file your taxes!
When's the last day to file taxes?
Tax Day! April 15 is commonly recognized as tax day, the deadline to file your individual tax returns. As soon as you received your Form W-2, you can begin filing your taxes. There are some situations where this deadline can be extended. For instance, in 2020, due to the pandemic, tax day was extended to July 15, 2020. However, as you cannot expect this to happen again, it is always best to file your tax returns by the April 15 deadline, just to be cautious!
If you can't file your tax return in time to meet the April 15 deadline, you can file for an extension. However, to receive an extension, you must file a different form, Form 4868, and still pay an estimated amount before tax day. If this is the alternative you choose, it is best to check the IRS website for all necessary information to ensure minimal penalty payments.
To keep up with important dates, such as the deadline to file your individual tax returns, download our free Payroll Calendar. Are you looking for more tools? Sign up for our Symmetry Software Payroll Insights Newsletter to stay up to date on important payroll insights, and check out PaycheckCity.com for more free resources!