Employers have a legal obligation to provide employees a Form W-2 stating the employee’s wages and withholdings for the year by January 31 of the following year. This obligation remains even when an employer has closed its doors and ceased operating.

Employees should confirm that their employer (including former employers) have their most current contact information so W-2s can be provided in a timely manner. If an employer fails to send a W-2 by January 31 and the employee is unsuccessful in obtaining this form or wage information from the employer, the employee should seek assistance from the IRS. The IRS Tax Help Line for individuals at 1-800-829-1040 is the quickest contact method for assistance. Also, an employee can schedule an appointment at his or her local IRS office to receive face-to-face tax help. A list of IRS offices in Indiana is available at https://www.irs.gov/help/contact-my-local-office-in-indiana.

When contacting the IRS, employees must be prepared to provide the following information: employee’s name, Social Security number and contact information; as well as the employer’s name, contact information, and if possible, the employer’s tax identification number (which is available on a previous year’s Form W-2).

Once the employee provides the IRS with the necessary employer information, the IRS will attempt to contact the employer and will also send the employee a Form 4582, which is a substitute for Form W-2.  If the IRS is unable to contact the employer or the employee does not receive the W-2 in time to file his or her individual income tax return by the due date, the employee must fill out Form 4582, which is also available at www.irs.gov, and send in with the employee’s tax return.

For additional information on this or any related topic, please contact Indiana labor and employment law attorney Olivia Robinson at (812) 423-3183 or orobinson@KDDK.com, or contact any member of the KDDK Labor and Employment Law Practice Team.

About the Author

woman attorney, Olivia Robinson, KDDK
Olivia G. Robinson

Olivia Robinson is an Indiana and Kentucky labor and employment law attorney who leverages her strong legal research, organization and communication skills as she advises employers on avoiding and defending against harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other employment-related claims in federal and state courts and before local, state and federal administrative agencies.

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