Can I still file taxes without my W-2 or 1099?

Yes, you can still file taxes without a W-2 or 1099.

Usually, if you work and want to file a tax return, you need Form W-2 or Form 1099, provided by your employer. If you did not receive these forms or misplaced them, you can ask your employer for a copy of these documents. You should also contact your employer for new forms if the ones you receive have incorrect information.

If you cannot get a copy of your W-2 or 1099, you can still file taxes by filling out Form 4852, “Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.” This form asks for information about your wages and taxes that were withheld.

Before using Form 4852, you must try to contact your employer to get your Form W-2 or Form 1099 (original or corrected) by the end of February. Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. You will need to share the following:

  • Information about youyour name, address, phone number, social security number, and dates of employment.  
  • Information about your employeryour employer’s name, address, and telephone number.

The IRS will try to contact your employer to get the missing form for you. The IRS will also send you Form 4852, which you can use if you do not receive the missing form in time to file your taxes.  

When filling out your Form 4852 you may find it useful to have: 

  • A pay stub, especially the last one you got for the year you are filing taxes for. This can be helpful because it includes all the necessary information to complete Form 4852, including the year-to-date amounts (which is the total amount of money you made in that year). If you do not have your last pay stub, you may be able to use another paystub from the same year to estimate your wages and tax withholding. This is not recommended if the amount of your paycheck changes a lot.


  • A prior year W-2 if your current W-2 is not available. If you worked for the same employer and can confirm that your pay and deductions remained the same, you may be able to use it to fill out some parts of Form 4852.

Check to see if your local VITA site can assist with filing out Form 4852.

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