On February 28, 2023, the IRS released IRS Tax Tip 2023-25, “What to do when a W-2 or Form 1099 is missing or incorrect”. This is a practical guide for taxpayers on the appropriate steps to obtain and review all necessary documentation prior to filing their tax returns. Incorrect or missing forms could impact a taxpayer’s income tax return and require the filing of an amended return.
In general, Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement and Form 1099 (Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-NEC, Form 1099-INT, Form 1099-G, etc.), are provided to the taxpayer by January 31 of the year following the payment. These forms are mailed to the taxpayer or if the taxpayer consented, these forms are electronically available.
WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR FORM
If the taxpayer has not received their information by February or has received a form with incorrect information, the taxpayer should take the following steps:
- Contact the employer, payor, or issuing agency (“issuer”) and request a copy of the missing document or a corrected document.
- In the case of a missing mailed form, the taxpayer should contact the issuer to ask for another copy and confirm that the issuer has the correct address on file. In the case of an electronic form, the taxpayer should inquire from the issuer the location of where the forms are posted. Typically, an issuer will provide this information in a FAQ. In essence, when in doubt, reach out.
- For a form with incorrect income, the taxpayer should reach out to the issuer to try to resolve the issue quickly in the hope that the form can be corrected prior to the filing with the IRS. In the case of a W-2 or Form 1099-NEC filing, which is due to the IRS is due on January 31, a corrected return will more than likely be required to be issued to the IRS. In the case of a Form 1099-MISC, which is not due to the IRS until the end of February, if mailed, or the end of March, if electronically submitted, there is a possibility that the issue can be rectified prior to submission.
- If the issuer is not responsive or cannot provide the information, then the taxpayer can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for help. The IRS will then contact the issuer on behalf of the taxpayer. Upon contacting, the IRS will ask the taxpayer for the following information:
- Taxpayer information: name, address, phone number, social security number, and dates of employment; and
- Issuer information: name, address, and phone number.
SPECIFIC CASE FOR W-2 OR FORM 1099
Once the IRS is contacted, in the case of a W-2 or Form 1099-R, the IRS will send the taxpayer a Form 4852, Substitute to the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, Etc. This form can be used to estimate wages and earnings by the taxpayer in the case that the W-2 or Form 1099-R is not provided by the time of the tax return filing. In the case that the taxpayer receives the missing or corrected Form W-2 of Form 1099-R that differs from the estimate, then an amended income tax return should be filed.
SPECIFIC CASE FOR FORM 1099-G
Separately, if a taxpayer receives an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits, the taxpayer should reach out to the issuing state agency to request a revised form. In case a corrected form is not received in time, the taxpayer should complete their tax return reporting the income that they received.