More than a third of Americans file their own taxes, needless to say, none of them enjoy doing it. When preparing your taxes online, there a number of essential income-related documents that you need to have. The main one is the W-2 form which is supposed to be mailed to you by the end of the year by your employer.
The W-2 form contains all the necessary information pertaining to your annual total earnings as well as the tax amount that your employer has withheld for that year. The law mandates that your employer sends you the W2 form by January 31st the following year. After that, the IRS observes a 15 day grace period to allow for postal hang-ups and other inconveniences.
The W2 form, therefore, is a very vital document when filing taxes. But if, for some reason, you don’t have this document, can you use your last pay stub to file taxes?
Can You Use Your Last Pay Stub To File Taxes?
If you are unable to obtain your W-2 form, you might be able to file online using your final pay stub for the applicable year. This is because your December stub shows your cumulative figures as well as figures withheld. However, you will need to have your employer’s unique Employer Identification Number, and since it is not typically printed on pay stubs, you will have to request it from the employer.
Providing an incorrect Employer Identification Number could see to your processing period being lengthened or getting audited. If you have this information, you can start filling out your tax return. Nonetheless, when it comes to filing taxes online, the IRS has it that the service is only free to those earning less than $57,000.
If you earn more than that figure in a year, you are required to file taxes by printing and mailing the return. The service is also unavailable to those under the age of 16. Additionally, if you currently live in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S Virgin Islands, or American Samoa, you might also not be able to file.
You will be able to prepare your tax return online but will need to print and mail it.
Using Your Last Pay Stub To File Taxes
In order to use your pay stub to file your taxes, you will need the Form 4852. Here is what you need to know about this form.
The IRS Form 4852 is usually used on occasions when there is no W-2 or the one that arrives is incorrect. The IRS maintains that the 4852 be only used when you are unable to retrieve your W-2. As such, it is not designed to help you get your refunds quicker, but rather, is an alternative means when W-2s do not arrive on time.
Completing Form 4852
You will utilize the year to date information to fill this form. It asks for personal information such as:
• Your full name
• Social security number
Explaining The 4852
Since the Form 4852 is not the official tax filing document, you will need to explain your reasons for using it. Therefore, in addition to stating what year the form is for, you will also need to certify that you were unable to obtain tax forms from either your employer or financial institution. If applicable, you can say that you received incorrect forms.
You will also have to certify that you called the IRS notifying them about your problem prior to filing.
Start putting down the information from your paystub into the bottom half of your Form 4852. You will need to begin with the name, address, and Tax ID number of your employer. After doing that, you may now include all the remaining information from your stub. Note that the top section is for employees who get W-2s while the second part is for people who usually get the 1099-R.
As such, this means that you should not fill out the 1099-R section if you are simply missing a W-2. This is the information you will need to take from your pay stub:
• Wages, tips, and any other form of compensation
• Medicare wages and tips
• Social security wages
• Social security tips
• Federal income tax withheld
• State income tax withheld
• Social Security tax withheld
• Medicare tax withheld
After filling out this information, you can then proceed to certify it.
Certifying Your Information
Below the taxes and wages information, you will need to offer an explanation on how you arrived at the amounts that you listed. You can do that through offering a simple statement such as, “Amounts obtained from final pay stub of (relevant tax year).” Before you sign the form, ensure to offer an additional explanation detailing your efforts to get the Form W-2 from your employer.
Signing And Sending
It is important to note that the Internal Revenue Service does not accept electronic Form 4852. You will need to print and mail it. Therefore, ensure to include it with the rest of your tax documents.
What Else You Might Need
As mentioned earlier, the IRS will require an explanation of how you arrived at the listed amounts. Therefore, to ensure that you have calculated correctly so that you do not pay too much or too little, you should consider utilizing a tax calculator. It is important to use a calculator when filing your taxes via your pay stub. There is an abundance of online tax calculators, so there’s no reason not to be using one.
Also, ensure to provide your tax calculator with any other relevant information. For example, if you have any dependents and similar outgoings, ensure that you feed them to the calculator. Make sure that the calculator is up to date and relevant to the current tax year. After running this information through the calculator, you should be able to determine how much you are owed in refunds by the IRS.
Consider running that information through the calculator several times to certify the accuracy of the results.
Filing taxes is not the most exciting task in the world. However, it can feel worse if you are not able to get a W-2. So, can you use your last pay stub to file taxes? Yes, you can. Just follow the above guidelines, and you will be good to go. You may also enjoy reading the step by step guide on how to pay off your tax debt quickly. Are you having a problem generating your pay stub? PayStubCreator has got you covered. Try out our pay stub generator and tax season will never be the same again!