Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?
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Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?

4 Replies
Level 15

Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?

You cannot file a 2020 tax return until late January 2021.

Employers have until January 31, 2021 to provide you a 2020 W-2.

Level 15

Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?



Employers have until January 31 to issue your W-2's.  WAIT for your W-2.  You cannot file now anyway.  The IRS will not begin to accept e-files until late January.


Please be careful about being in too much of a hurry to file your next tax return. Many tax forms are not available at the very beginning of the tax season, so you have to wait for your forms. The software still needs updates at the beginning of the tax season. 


Although the software will allow you to e-file in early January, the IRS does not begin to accept the e-files until almost the end of the month.  So your return just sits on the server.  If you realize that you made a mistake or left something out—as many people do—you cannot change it.



Every year we see people who are in such a rush to file that they file incorrectly and incompletely.  If you file too early and leave out a W-2 or a 1099, or forget to enter information, you will end up having to amend your tax return---and that takes months.  Employers have until the end of January to issue W-2's----and ALL of your 2020 W-2's have to be on the same tax return.  Many of the 1099's and 1098's you need do not arrive until late January or sometime in February.  If you are getting Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, the IRS is going to hold your refund until the end of February no matter how early you file.  There seems to be a greater chance of "early" returns being reviewed and those refunds are delayed, or early returns are more often subject to identity verification--which will also delay processing.  Filing too early may just be a recipe for a delayed refund.  It might go more smoothly for you if you wait until at least mid-February to file instead of e-filing during the first minute that you can do it.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 15

Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?

Just FYI ... since 1/31/21 lands on a Sunday the employers have until 2/1/21 to mail out or make the forms available online.   The IRS requires that you have the actual form in hand prior  to filing so wait for that form. 

Opus 17
Level 15

Can I file my taxes if I don't have my w2?

1. The IRS does not open e-filing until January 27.  Although turbotax will accept e-filed returns beginning 1/7, they will just go into storage until the IRS opens.  Since your W-2 must be issued by 1/31 (or 2/1) that's not that much extra wait.


2. If your numbers don't match, you will get an IRS letter and may have to file an amended return which takes 5 months to process.  In some cases, the IRS will hold your entire refund for verification if your income numbers don't match the copy of the W-2 that the employer files with them.


3.  Even though there is no way to actually prevent you from filing, regulations require you to have all your documents before you file.


4.  If you have any unusual tax situations, Turbotax will probably not be safe to use until Feb 15.  In past years, there have been program glitches when adjusting to changes in the tax laws that have required some early filers to amend. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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