Can I Use My Last Pay Stub Instead of W2?

It can happen to the best of us. The W-2 shows up in your mailbox, and you’re not quite ready to tackle your taxes. You throw the W-2 on your pile of stuff and forget about it. 

That is until it’s time to do your taxes. Then where did that W-2 disappear to? What proof of wages do you have that you can still complete your taxes with?

Are you wondering how to use the last paystub as a W-2? Will the IRS allow you to submit your taxes without an actual W-2? Read on to learn more.

Is It Okay to File Taxes Without a W-2?

Your employer is legally required to provide you with a W-2 form with the information you need to file your taxes. But will the IRS allow you to file your taxes without a W-2?

If you file electronically, it’s not a big deal to not have your W-2 as long as you have the information you need to complete your tax form. 

If you don’t plan to file electronically, the IRS will still allow you to file your taxes without the W-2.

The IRS will ask that you complete Form 4852 as a substitute for the W-2 form. You can get this form right on the IRS website. 

You can request information from the IRS using this form, but you should have your final paystub for the year to complete it. 

How to Use the Last Paystub as a W-2

Most paystub forms give information about the pay period you’re being paid for. They also provide cumulative information. In most ways, your last paystub of the year is like your W-2 form.

On most pay stubs, information will be listed for the pay period and have a second column listing the year-to-date information. This last paycheck stub will provide proof of wages for the year in the year-to-date column.

Not only does the pay stub provide gross income for the year, which is what you start with on your Form 1040 when doing taxes. It also lists all taxes withheld and deduction totals for the year. 

What Information Will You Need from Your Year-End Paystub?

Let’s take a closer look at the information you will need from the year end paystub. 

Of course, you’ll need to know your gross wages for the year. That’s the first thing you’ll need to fill in on your Form 1040.

You will also need:

  • Federal income tax is withheld
  • The total wages of the employer, including tips and different other compensations
  • The withheld social security tax
  • Withheld state income tax
  • Withheld Medicare tax
  • Any withheld local income taxes

The IRS will also want to know the name, address, and employer identification number of your employer. This should all be available on the paystub, too.

Lost W-2 During Tax Filing Season

Don’t fret if your W-2 has come up missing. Now you know how to use the last paystub as a W-2.

And you don’t need to worry because the IRS understands this happens and gives you an alternate method to complete your taxes using your final paystub for the year.

If you’re looking to create a custom paystub for your company, check out some of the nice templates online. There are tons of them.

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