File Taxes With Last Pay Stub?

by Michael on Jan 31, 2013 · 1 comment

Photo of W-2 Tax Forms

After a delay due to the fiscal cliff fiasco, the IRS has finally started processing income tax returns. So what are you waiting for?

Well… One thing that you might be waiting for is your W-2 form. You should have received it by now, but things don’t always go as planned.

The good news is that your last pay stub of the year likely contains the information that you need to complete your return, so… It’s all good. Right? Well, maybe.

Technically, you can e-file your return even if you haven’t received all of your paperwork. The reason for this is that you don’t have to submit things like your W-2 when e-filing, though you do have to attach your W-2 when filing a paper return.

But if you choose to e-file before all of your forms arrive, you’re risking a possible discrepancy between your final pay stub (and hence what you report) and what shows up on the W-2 that your employer is sending straight to the IRS.


And you know what that means, don’t you? Yep. The IRS will almost certainly notice and send you a nastygram. Whether this ends with you filing an amended return or having to respond to an audit, it’s just not worth the trouble.

So go ahead and get started on your taxes. That’s fine. But don’t pull the trigger and submit until you have all of the necessary documentation in hand. That way, you can be absolutely sure that your numbers are right.

1 The College Investor February 2, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I always start using the data in Quicken just to get an understanding of where I am. However, I then use my statements once they come to make sure everything is correct.

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