How To Replace A Lost W-2 Form
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How To Replace A Lost W-2 Form

The genuine wage and tax numbers printed on a W-2 Form are the ones working taxpayers depend on to do their tax return on the 1040 Form. Getting replacement copies for a lost form W-2 from an employer is simple.

Working taxpayers that have lost all the numbers on the W-2 Form might have to stop working on their tax return until they can find all the exact dollars and cents on record. But, any time the W-2 gets lost, there is a simple way to get the full set of copies.

Ask the employer for a replacement W-2.

1. First, check to make sure the W-2 was not misplaced. It might be stuck between papers in a stack, or in a file or a box. Maybe even kicked under the desk. Or under the coach.

Retrace the steps walked with the W-2 in hand, and look through every place used to sit with the form. Start with the desk. Once there is no choice but to accept the fact the tax paperwork is lost, get a new copy.

2. Ask the employer if they have the another set of copies B, C, and 2. Employers keep the W-2 form for 4 years. They can also make an electronic W-2 form.

The paper replacement copies come with "REISSUED STATEMENT" written on the form. The IRS requires the written words. But, the electronic copies have no extra words printed on them.

3. Ask for the replacement W-2. Employers simply can replace the copies for their employee. Replacement has always been an act the IRS places an important value on.

If the employer has the copies on hand, pick them up. The tax papers can take the place of the old lost W-2 in little time. Or else ask that the copies be sent to the home address, or other address. Employers will send the W-2s by the time 30 days are up.

Once the W-2 is in hand, a worker has everything they need to fill out their income tax return on the 1040 form.

4. Do not worry about the cost. The IRS keeps tax filing cheap. No charge for a replacement.

5. Look over all the dollars and cents printed on the copies the employer gives. Numbers printed in the wrong order and missing decimal points, and most imprtantly missing numbers, ruin the conveninece of filling out a 1040 form and make poor proof on record. If there are any additions or corrections needed, ask the employer for a complete copy that is correct.

Every number helps make the totals and subtractions done on the 1040 form just the right amounts. To the cent. No guess work and no estimations.


IRS, W-2 Form (2012).

IRS, Instructions for W-2 Form (2012).

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