Word on the tax professional “street” is that tax filing numbers are down across the board so far. That is from data released by software providers (though this year, of all years, I simply don’t understand why somebody would use software), as well as overall numbers from the IRS, AND those who are using a professional.
It seems that many Des Moines taxpayers are a little skittish about all of these changes.
And with further news rolling around the newsfeeds that some are seeing lower refunds than they might have expected, well … it seems that this tax season has been a little rocky for the industry.
But that being the case on a broad level, we at Team Ann M. Hartz, CPA and Associates are in the midst of one of the best tax seasons we’ve ever experienced. From a bunch of wonderful new Des Moines clients, to the gratification we’ve experienced from helping long standing clients keep MORE than they thought was possible … well, suffice to say that we love what we get to do.
So thank you for your referrals, and for continuing to trust us as you have been. And if you haven’t gotten started on it yet … well, having a pro in your corner can make a big difference. So take advantage! Shoot us an email or give us a call: (515) 259-7779. We’ll walk you through whatever you need.
And speaking of what you might need, we’ve received a couple of questions about what happens if you haven’t received a W-2 yet. So I thought I’d take a moment to answer that for you…
IRS Form 4852: Ann M. Hartz, CPA and Associates Explains the Substitute for the W-2
“Sometimes, disaster can inspire ingenuity.” – Michael Arden
If you work, or have worked, for somebody else, you know a W-2 form is essential when filing your taxes. Without it, you’re stepping into the batter’s box without a bat.
This particular service form summarizes your annual income, benefits and taxes.
But if you have yet to receive your W-2 from a current or past employer, I want you to first contact them and ask why the delay. If you receive little response, or an unhelpful one, please consider these three important steps. You might need to implement one or all three of them in an effort to obtain the document and get on with your filing.
If none of these three options work, please reach out to me immediately. We can discuss the next best steps you can take moving forward.
Reach out to the IRS
The good part is that the IRS has made an effort to streamline their customer service questions through a toll-free number: (800) 829-1040. Calling this number is your first step toward receiving a substitute W-2 which you’ll need ASAP.
The bad part in dialing this number is the automated process it will walk you through (and the potentially long wait time). But if it’s a matter of receiving such an important document, enduring the process is a solid option. In addition, before you call, make sure you have these documents/details on hand:
– Employer’s name, address and phone
– Dates you had or have been employed
– Estimate of wages you earned from the previous year
We can help you with this.
Fill One of These Out Instead
If you’re low on patience with the IRS, and your employer has yet to deliver your W-2, there are a couple more forms you could fill out.
Form 4852 is a “create your own” W-2 form, and you can use some of the information you prepared for the IRS, and therefore have on hand, to fill it out.
If the thought of creating a substitute W-2 makes you wary, you could request a filing extension using Form 4868, which will give you an extra six months to file your taxes. And if an extra six months is not enough to receive a W-2 from your boss, then you might have other issues to resolve in addition to filing taxes on time.
We can also help you with this.
Correct Any Mistakes
Sometimes, after completing the custom W-2 using Form 4852, taxpayers will send that form into the IRS, only to receive their actual W-2 days later. Use the real W-2 to double-check the information you wrote down on your 4852.
And if, for instance, you forgot to mark down a bonus you had received (in addition to your income from the year before), I don’t want you to panic.
Form 1040X isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. It will help you record the changes necessary to your W-2, which the IRS will fix after you mail it in.
Again, if you complete these steps or have further questions, please give me a call. Trying to file your taxes without a W-2 is not a happy feeling … but you’re not alone.
I commend any effort you take to resolve this issue on your own, but don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Talking with people like you is why I love my job.
Ann M. Hartz, CPA and Associates