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How to File Taxes Without Waiting for your W-2

The IRS has tried to make it easier and easier to file your taxes. Online filing has made it so that you don’t even have to wait for a W-2 if you have all of your correct information, as long as your job is the only source of income that you have for the year. If this sounds like you, and you can’t wait to file, here are the steps to take so that you can file your taxes early.

1. Take the last pay stub for the year, and use this as your basis. This should not be the last paycheck you receive in the prior year, but the one that covers work you did on the last day of the year before. This paycheck will most likely be recieved in early January. Taxes are based on the money you earned in a certain year, not the money you were paid in that year.

2. Speak with the people who issue your paycheck about any adjustments that should be made on this paycheck. Because, during most years, the last paycheck of the year includes income earned during two different years on it, the information on there needs some slight adjustment. This can be estimated by you, especially if you are paid on a salary, but it is best if you verify it with your finance people.

3. If your W-2 was lost, you can ask your company to re-issue you a replacement W-2.

4. Enter the adjusted paycheck or replacement W-2 information into tax preparation software. There are a number of free-file options that are available these days if you only have a W-2 to use in your taxes. Be certain if you are using your paycheck that you have correct adjusted numbers for total year’s income, as well as federal withholding, social security and medicare. Round to the nearest dollar, do not enter cents.

5. Enter your bank information, if you have it, so that your online tax return can be paid to you more quickly. If you need to have a check issued to you, it will take up to a few months to receive. However, a direct deposit of your refund can be issued in a few days. If you owe money, you have the option to wait until April 15 to file your taxes and pay the IRS the money that you owe to them. This can be done online, or you can send a check in the mail.

6. When your W-2 does come, double check that your estimated numbers were correct. If they are, then keep a copy of this W2 with a printed out version of your tax return as a record, in case there is a problem in the future. If they are not, speak with a tax preparer about filing a revision to your tax return.

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