Tax season is tough, no doubt about it.
It’s especially hard when you don’t get the documents you need to file!
By now you have probably heard the term “W-2” but you may be asking “What is a W-2 and why do I have to have it to file my taxes?” Worry not dear Ōdult, we have anwers to your questions right here.
Form W-2 is a tax document that shows how much you were paid during the year and, most importantly, shows the amount of taxes that were withheld from your paycheck. This document is important in figuring out how much money you will get back from your tax refund.
Since a W-2 tells the government how much you were paid and what taxes were withheld from your paycheck, it will be coming from the place that knows that information best – your job. If you changed jobs during the year, you will receive a W-2 from each company you worked for.
Yes, simple as that. The taxes you paid out of your paycheck are the largest factor in how much you will get back from your refund. If you want to get paid this tax season, you will definitely need that W-2.
Your W-2 is one of the most important documents you will need come tax time but, what should you do if you don’t receive it? Luckily, you have a few options.
Call the Office:
Since your employer is the one who issues your W-2, they are the first place you should go to get an extra copy. If you are not sure who at the office to ask about this, it is best to go to your HR department or boss. If you work for a staffing company, call the local office and let them know about the issue. Once you find the right person, they may be able to print your W-2 the same day, but in some cases, they may have to mail you another copy. If snail mail is their preferred method, just be sure they have the correct mailing address.
Visit the Employee Website:
Many companies now have a dedicated place on the employee website for you to print off a W-2. Each company site is different but you are likely to find this feature somewhere under your profile or in the HR department of the website. If your company site has the option, simply search “W-2” and that may point you to the exact page.
Check Your Inbox:
Many companies now email tax documents instead of sending them through the mail. Your W-2 may have made it to you, but is possibly buried under spam or even going to an old email you no longer use. Companies are required by law to send your W-2 by January 31st, so simply check your emails that came in between January 1st and February 1st.
If issues like a lost W-2 are causing your refund to run long and you need some money now, you may want to consider a Tax Refund Advance Loan
Starting out the new year a little strapped for cash? Waiting for your W-2 and tax refund may just not be an option. Totally understandable. There is an option to get a Tax Refund Advance Loan, which is essentially an advance on your tax refund in the form of a loan. This gives you access to money until your refund arrives. Once you receive your tax refund you are required to pay this loan back.
Some things to keep in mind when agreeing to these loans:
- It is a loan so you will have to pay it back plus any fees or interest.
- You will often be on the hook to prepare your taxes with that company, which comes with it’s own filing fee.
- These companies will likely pull your credit to approve the loan.
- You may not be approved for a loan if they predict your return will be less than the loan amount.