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It’s a good idea to have all your tax documents together before preparing your 2012 tax return. You will need your W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers should send by the end of January. Give it two weeks to arrive by mail.
If you have not received your W-2, follow these three steps:
1. Contact your employer first. Ask your employer – or former employer – to send your W-2 if it has not already been sent. Make sure your employer has your correct address.
2. Contact the IRS. After February 14, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you have not yet received your W-2. Be prepared to provide your name, address, Social Security number and phone number. You should also have the following information when you call:
• Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
• Your employment dates; and
• An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in 2012, based upon your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if available.
3. File your return on time. You should still file your tax return on or before April 15, 2013, even if you have not yet received your W-2. File Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in place of the W-2. Use the form to estimate your income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.
If you need more time to file you can get a six-month extension of time. File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return. If you are requesting an extension, you must file this form on or before April 15, 2013.
If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, then you must correct your tax return. File Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to amend your tax return.
The Internal Revenue Service provides free tax forms and publications on a wide variety of topics – from tax credits for individuals to a tax guide for small businesses.
Here are four easy ways to obtain tax forms and publications from the IRS:
On the Internet. You can get IRS forms and instructions quickly and easily by visiting the IRS.gov website 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They often appear online before they are available on paper. To view and download tax products, select “Forms and Pubs.”
By Telephone. Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time to order current or prior year forms and instructions or IRS publications. Hours of service in Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific Time. You will receive your order by mail, usually within 7 to 10 days.
In IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. There are Taxpayer Assistance Centers located across the country where you can pick up many IRS forms and publications. IRS offices also offer face-to-face help for taxpayers who want personal tax assistance.
To find the Center nearest to you, visit IRS.gov and click on “Help & Resources” and then “Contact Your Local IRS Office.” Select your state for a list of offices, as well as a list of services available at each office. You can also find a Center near you by using the “Office Locator” link, which allows you to search by using your zip code.
In Your Community. Many libraries and post offices offer free tax forms during the tax filing season. Some libraries also have copies of commonly requested IRS publications.
For additional information about free IRS tax products and services, see Publication 2053A, Quick and Easy Access to IRS Tax Help and Forms, and Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS Forms & Publications
Contact Your Local IRS Office
IRS Office Locator tool
Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services (PDF)
Publication 2053A, Quick and Easy Access to IRS Tax Help and Forms (PDF)
IRS YouTube Videos:
How to Get 1040 Forms – English | Spanish | ASL
IRS Tax Forms and Publications – English | Spanish | ASL
How to Get 1040 Forms – English | Spanish
Tax Forms and Publications – English | Spanish
Here is a reminder about the W2 reporting requirements attached to the Affordable Care Act and employer sponsored group health plans.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced that a small subset of individuals with only signature authority required to file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) will receive a one-year extension beyond the upcoming filing date of June 30, 2011.
FinCen today issued Notice 2011-1 that extends the deadline until June 30, 2012, for the following individuals:
- An employee or officer of a covered entity who has signature or other authority over and no financial interest in a foreign financial account of another entity more than 50 percent owned, directly or indirectly, by the entity (a “controlled person”).
- An employee or officer of a controlled person of a covered entity who has signature or other authority over and no financial interest in a foreign financial account of the entity or another controlled person of the entity.
All other U.S. persons required to file an FBAR this year are required to meet the June 30, 2011, filing date. Unlike with federal income tax returns, extensions of time to file are not available.
Today’s notice was issued to facilitate more accurate compliance of FBAR filings in the wake of recent finalization of regulations. The FBAR filing requirements, authorized under one of the original provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act, have been in place since 1972.
On Feb. 24, 2011, FinCEN published a final rule that amended the Bank Secrecy Act regarding FBARs.
The FBAR form is used to report a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, one or more financial accounts in foreign countries.
U.S. persons are required to file FBARs Form TD F 90-22.1 annually if they have a financial interest in or signature authority over financial accounts, including bank, securities or other types of financial accounts, in a foreign country, if the aggregate value of these financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
- Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) (bespacific.com)
- Avoiding the Foreign-Account Penalty (online.wsj.com)
Another Dreaded IRS Reporting Requirement Gets Interim Guidance Today. Health Coverage Reporting Requirement on Form W2
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
Well here it is, guidance on more reporting requirements. If you are an employer providing health insurance coverage for your employees, Good For You. And….. now the IRS wants to track it. So add this to the long list of other reporting requirements dear business owners. If you file 250 or more W2’s, starting in 2012 you will need to report employee health insurance premiums on Form w2. Employers with less than 250 W2’s are exempt until further notice. I guess there is always a small sliver of a silver lining.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued interim guidance to employers on informational reporting on each employee’s annual Form W-2 of the cost of the health insurance coverage they sponsor for employees. The IRS is also requesting comments on this interim guidance. The IRS emphasized that this new reporting to employees is for their information only, to inform them of the cost of their health coverage, and does not cause excludable employer-provided health coverage to become taxable; employer-provided health coverage continues to be excludable from an employee’s income, and is not taxable.
The Affordable Care Act provides that employers are required to report the cost of employer-provided health care coverage on the Form W-2. Notice 2010-69, issued last fall, made this requirement optional for all employers for the 2011 Forms W-2 (generally furnished to employees in January 2012). In today’s guidance, the IRS provided further relief for smaller employers (those filing fewer than 250 W-2 forms) by making this requirement optional for them at least for 2012 (i.e., for 2012 Forms W-2 that generally would be furnished to employees in January 2013) and continuing this optional treatment for smaller employers until further guidance is issued.
Using a question-and-answer format, Notice 2011-28 also provides guidance for employers that are subject to this requirement for the 2012 Forms W-2 and those that choose to voluntarily comply with it for either 2011 or 2012. The notice includes information on how to report, what coverage to include and how to determine the cost of the coverage.
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
The IRS has started their seasonal “Tax Tip” campaign. I do like these tips. They cover many of the general questions that taxpayers ask. In the interest of having a little fun, let’s pick apart Tax Tip 2011-01
- Start gathering your records – I agree. Waiting to the last minute can cost you deductions. Lost receipts or forgotten documents are the bane of tax preparation. Give yourself time to get it together before the filing deadline gets here.
- Be on the lookout for w-2 and 1099’s – well duh IRS, this kind of falls into item number 1 don’t ya think? If you are owed a 1099 or W2, these are delivered or mailed to you by January 31, 2011. So if it’s March and you don’t have your forms, better start making some calls because something is wrong.
- Use free file – This option is cool, but a bit deceiving. Free file is a great product to prepare your federal income return if your income is less than $58,001. Free file is sponsored by brand name – for profit- tax software companies. So keep in mind, you still pay for the use of the software when you prepare your state tax return (only the federal part is prepared for free).
- IRS e-file – Personally I like efiling. It is convenient, fast, accurate, and paperless. Besides, here’s a heads up, E-file is mandatory for some taxpayers. It’s a new age, time to get on the ball and accept modern technological advances.
- Consider other filing options – Yes there are other options – you could prepare your return yourself (not recommended). And, if you qualify, there are ways to get your return filed that don’t cost money. Consider checking out your local VITA program. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.
- Consider direct deposit – I still get taxpayers who want to have their refund checks mailed to them. I can’t really get my head around this one. Generally, there isn’t a good reason to have a check mailed versus having your refund direct deposited.
- Visit the IRS website again and again – okay, lots of helpful information here. No reason not to. I say, do it.
- Remember to checkout IRS publication 17. Well, yes if you want to learn all about income tax by all means here is a publication that will help. Helpful stuff includes: a) What’s new for 2010, b) Reminder, c) When you should file a return, d) When to paper file vs. efile, c) Yada yada yada
- Review! Review! Review! – Well ya check for mistakes. But people really, if you’re not a tax expert, you really aren’t going to know if you blew it. Might I suggest you have a tax professional review your return before you file.
- Don’t panic! – Unless you want too of course – or waited until the last minute. When all else fails, the IRS says you can give them a call at 800-829-1040.
- Tax tip: It’s time to get started; here’s a few things you can do (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Some Tax Payers Will Need to File Their 1040 Later Rather Than Sooner This Coming Filing Season (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- Important 2011 tax filing deadlines: Jan. 14, mid-February, April 18, Oct. 17 (dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
- IRS Delays Start of Filing Season for Some Taxpayers (businessweek.com)
IRS Patrol: IRS Releases Draft W-2 Form for 2011; Announces Relief for Employers (Optional Reporting of the Cost of Health Coverage in 2011)
Stacie says: Doesn’t good news come in three’s? Well here is good news number two for the day – the IRS announced that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. The reporting is now optional in 2011.
WASHINGTON — The IRS today issued a draft Form W-2 for 2011, which employers use to report wages and employee tax withholding. The IRS also announced that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, making that reporting by employers optional in 2011.
The draft Form W-2 includes the codes that employers may use to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that this relief is necessary to provide employers the time they need to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with the new reporting requirement. The IRS will be publishing guidance on the new requirement later this year.
Although reporting the cost of coverage will be optional with respect to 2011, the IRS continues to stress that the amounts reportable are not taxable. Included in the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March, the new reporting requirement is intended to be informational only, and to provide employees with greater transparency into overall health care costs.