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New Member

Can i add income without my w2?

i have my year to date print out of my earnings
6 Replies
Expert Alumni

Can i add income without my w2?

While employers have until January 31 to issue W-2s to employees, some drop them in the mail on that date while others experience difficulties in getting them out on time. If you haven’t received your W-2 yet, there’s no reason to worry. There are still plenty of options to ensure you file accurately and on time.


If you’re waiting for your W-2, here are the steps you can take to find it.


Step 1: Check online

Many employers now issue Form W-2 electronically to employees. But that doesn't mean they'll always email the form to you, as it isn't particularly secure. Instead, they'll email you a link to an online portal where you can download the form yourself.

  • Once in a while, those emails get caught in your spam folder or sent to the wrong email address. Check your spam folder to see if the notice wound up there.
  • If your employer has an online portal where you access paycheck information, time cards, and other employment information, log into the website to see if your W-2 can be accessed there.
  • Even if you can't find it in your email or online, you may still be able to get it electronically. Employers not only send W-2s electronically to employees, but to the IRS as well.

Tax software like TurboTax can import your W-2 electronically and will actually notify you when your W-2 is available to start your taxes.


Step 2: Ask your employer

If your online search leaves you empty-handed, contact your employer's payroll or human resources department to ask when and how they issued your W-2. If they mailed it to an old or incorrect address, the post office may have returned it to the employer.

  • If that's the case, you can ask your employer to reissue your W-2 if you want to keep a paper file for your records.
  • If your W-2 went missing because of a mail snafu, you can use TurboTax to retrieve a copy. As long as your employer issued one, TurboTax can import it.

Step 3: Contact the IRS

What happens if your employer truly never issued your W-2? Perhaps they went out of business or aren’t responding to your request for a W-2? In that case, it's time to try contacting the IRS.

  • The IRS recommends contacting your employer first and waiting until the end of February to see if your W-2 arrives before getting the agency involved.
  • If you've met those 2 requirements, contact the IRS or make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) if there's one near you.

Whether you call or visit a TAC in person, be ready to provide the following information:

  • Your name, address, Social Security number, and phone number
  • The employer's name, address, phone number and tax ID if you have it
  • The dates you worked for the employer
  • An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld (you can usually find this information on your last pay stub for the tax year)

The IRS will contact your employer on your behalf to request the missing form and remind the employer of the penalties for failing to issue Form W-2.


Step 4: File Form 4852 with your tax return

If IRS intervention still doesn't produce the form you need and you want to file by the tax deadline, fill out Form 4852.  Form 4852 is a substitute for Form W-2 that taxpayers can complete if:

  • they haven't received a W-2, or
  • their employer issued an incorrect W-2.

When you use TurboTax, we'll ask you a few questions to estimate your total wages and withholding using your final pay stub, and fill out Form 4852 based on your answers. The IRS doesn't allow Form 4852 to be filed electronically, so you'll need to print out the necessary forms and mail them to the IRS.

It might take the IRS longer than normal to process your return while it verifies your information.  If you don't mind waiting, you can request an extension. This gives you 6 more months to get your W-2 and file a return.

Step 5: Request a Wage and Income Transcript

If you filed your return using Form 4852 and want to verify that the information you included on your return agrees with the income your employer reported to the IRS, you can request a Wage and Income Transcript from the IRS. This transcript shows data from the informational returns that the IRS receives from issuers like your employer, including Forms W-2 and 1099.

  • You can request a Wage and Income Transcript online using the Get Transcript Online tool, or by mail using Form 4506-T.
  • Unfortunately, it takes a while for the IRS to compile all of this information. Your transcript might not be complete until July, so trying to order it before the tax deadline might not work.
  • Once you receive the transcript, you can use it to compare the information you provided on Form 4852 to the wage and withholding information that the IRS has on record.

Step 6: Amend your return (maybe)

If you receive a W-2 or order a Wage and Income Transcript after filing your tax return and the information you receive is different from what you reported on your tax return, you may need to amend your tax return.

TurboTax can help you make any necessary corrections and file Form 1040-X easily and accurately.

File with confidence—with or without a W-2

It's always easier to file a tax return with an accurate W-2 than without it, but if you haven't received your form and need to file, you have options. The steps above can help you get the information you need to file a complete and accurate return, even if your W-2 is tough to track down.

Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions and fill out the right tax forms based on your answers to maximize your tax deductions.

All you need to know is yourself

Just answer simple questions about your life, and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.

New Member

Can i add income without my w2?

Can someone please tell me how i can do my 2019 taxes without the actual ww2 form and just a saved copy?

Returning Member

Can i add income without my w2?

Since electronic filing isn't available for your 2019 return, you will need to print the corresponding W-2 and mail it with your paper return.  Please pay attention to the printing requirements, as many times the software you use to print it might cause it to be rejected from the scanning equipment.  Any printing instructions should be included online with your electronic copy.


If you made a copy of the W-2 yourself from an original printed copy, you cannot use that to file your previous year's taxes.  You need to contact your employer for a replacement copy of the 2019 W-2.  If your employer is no longer in business or cannot grant that request, your last resort is to obtain the W-2 information directly from the IRS.  This is usually done in person at your nearest IRS office.

Expert Alumni

Can i add income without my w2?

If you saved a copy of the Form W-2, you should have all the necessary information to make the necessary W-2 entries in TurboTax.


If you only have partial information, you will still go to the W-2 interview, enter all the information you have available and then check the appropriate block on the "Do any of these uncommon situations apply to this W-2?"


Since this is a 2019 return, see How do I prepare a prior year tax return? for instructions on how to prepare it.


Level 5

Can i add income without my w2?

Hello, @ToddL99 

My employer said that I didn't need a W2 and he sent me the info in an Excel sheet, can I still use that?

Thank you,

Teresa M. 

Expert Alumni

Can i add income without my w2?

Yes, if you want to mail in your return. See form 4852 instructions below. Your employer is required to give you a W2. If this was a contract job where you were paid less than $600, a 1099-NEC did not have to be sent.


The form 4852 is a last resort. This is what the form says:

 If you don’t receive the missing or corrected form from your employer or payer by the end of February, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for assistance. You must provide your name, address (including ZIP code), phone number, social security number, and dates of employment. You must also provide your employer’s or payer’s name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number. The IRS will contact your employer or payer and request the missing form.


Because of this, you cannot e-file a return with a 4852, it must be mailed in.




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