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William Perez

Forgot to Attach Form W-2?

By January 29, 2007

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Today's tax question comes from "Milton" in Connecticut. He asks:
"I completed my 1040 along with all the requisite schedules. Everything was correct and ready for mailing. But... I forgot to include my W-2. That was the only document required. It was mailed a few days before I discovered the error. This has never happened to me. What should I do? Wait until IRS contacts me or will they figure out my W-2 earnings from their data bases?"
Congratulations on filing your return so early. You are right; you should wait until the IRS contacts you before sending in a copy of your Form W-2.

In fact, the IRS already has a process for handling situations just like this. The agency will send you a computer-generated notice informing you that you forgot to attach a copy of your W-2. Wait for that notice, and then attach a copy of your W-2 to the response page included in the notice. There will be all sorts of tracking codes on the response page, which will let the IRS agent process your W-2 information quickly.

And don't feel bad about this oversight. Two years ago, I had to amend my return because of a tax document I completely forgot about, until it arrived in the mail. As far as tax mistakes go, I think you'll be just fine.

Do you have a tax question? Visit the Ask a Tax Question page. Disagree with my answers? Post your comments in the Tax Forum.

March 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm
(1) Nicole says:

Thank you! I needed just this information as I forgot to include ours as well. I hope the IRS sends a notice soon so we can turn it around quickly and it won’t be considered late.

April 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm
(2) michelle says:

Is the missing document going to make the filing late? I mailed on the 15th forgetting the W-2

February 24, 2012 at 7:35 am
(3) Amy says:

Thank you so much for this! I’ve been frantic, as I forgot to send my W2 as well. I feel so much better.

March 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm
(4) Patricia says:

I did not think a w2 had been received. It will make a $2.00 difference in my refund which I have not gotten as yet. Should I do a ammend now?

April 14, 2013 at 11:18 am
(5) majun says:

I just realized that when I mailed in my federal taxes for a refund last week, while waiting to mail my state taxes because I owed, I forgot to attach my W-2 because my tax prep software was able to access my W-2 electronically and I never had to touch the paper form. When I went to staple my check to the state tax just now and had to print out my W-2 I realized my mistake. When I Googled “I forgot to attach my”, in a panic, it filled in the blank (which gave me instant relief), and this was the top hit. Good to know.

April 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm
(6) Susan says:

Thank you so much! I’ll sleep tonight, I was in a state of panic!

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