I Lost My W2. Now What?

The IRS doesn’t play around. Every year they have a $450 billion tax gap and they spend a lot of resources to reduce that gap. Are you late to file your taxes because you’ve lost your W2? Do you find yourself saying “I lost my W2, now what?

If that’s you or you want to know what to do just in case you lose your W2 in the future, keep reading to learn what steps you need to take.


First, let’s talk about timing. If your W2 hasn’t come to you by February 15th you need to take action. Your employer is required to send out your W2 by January 30th so if it’s not there by the 15th of February something needs to be fixed.

Secondarily if you did receive your W2 from your employer and subsequently lost it you also need to do something by Feb.15th at the latest. If you don’t get it, there could have been a clerical error, or it was lost in the mail.

Ask Your Employer

Your employer is legally obligated to replace your W2 if you’ve lost it. They can’t refuse you. However, they can charge you a service fee for an extra or replacement W2 form.

Contact your company’s HR office and they should be cooperative. Hopefully, you work for a decent or upstanding company that also won’t charge you for a second copy. The HR person should either send out a mailed copy or an emailed copy right away.

Make sure you stay on top of the progress or track your second W2, especially if it’s mailed to you. If you recently moved, make sure they have your updated address. You should double-check even if you think they should have the updated address already.

Call the IRS

I know, calling the IRS probably doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, right? But, it’s actually not that bad. You’ll be on hold of course for a bit of time but it’s not much different than calling the DMV or Secretary of State.

When you do get through to speak with someone make sure you have some key information handy. Your name and social security number, address, and Employee Identification Number if possible.

Also, you should provide them with dates of employment and estimated earnings if you can. This will make things run more smoothly and the IRS should be able to get you squared away without much of a hassle.

You can most likely find your EIN (Employee Identification Number) on your past paystubs. If you don’t know what your wage estimate might be, grab all your old paystubs and add them up.

You can even try this W2 generator.

Form 4852

If for some reason you can’t get another W2 in time, then you can fill out Form 4852. You’ill need your paystubs for this also. You can manually add in your wages and taxes that were withheld.

I Lost My W2

So, when that moment hits and you find yourself screaming “I lost my W2, now what?” you won’t panic. You’re ready to take the necessary steps to fix the problem.

Check out our Daily News blog for more great tips.