4 Mistakes to Check for on W-2 Forms

4 Mistakes to Check for on W-2 Forms

The W-2 form is an important document that employees need in order to file their taxes and even switch jobs. It provides information about how much money you’ve made, what benefits you’ve been provided, and other details. Mistakes on the W-2 can cause problems when filing taxes or receiving tax refunds. You don’t want to have to ask for a corrected form, so it’s important that you double-check them when they arrive. 

This blog post will talk about four common mistakes on W-2 forms – errors that every employee should check for before filing. 

Misspelled Name

Employees should double-check their names on their W-2 forms for spelling errors. Sending the form back to your employer is a hassle, and it’ll take up time that you could be spending doing other important things. Reviewing your own information before sending the forms will save both you and your boss time in the end. While you can usually get a corrected W-2 form from your employer, it’s better to catch errors before sending the form back.

For instance, if you’re worried about your own name being misspelled, check for these things:

  • Is my first and last name spelled correctly?
  • Do I have a middle name or initial listed? If so, is it correct?
  • Are there any other names listed that I may have forgotten to include?

To fix this, simply ask your employer if they could double-check the names on all of your W-12 forms before sending them to you. This is especially important when you want to file taxes or request a W-2 form from a previous employer, as noted here: https://www.thepaystubs.com/blog/human-resources/switched-job-find-out-how-to-request-a-w-2-from-a-previous-employer.

Wrong Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Another mistake that employees should check for on the W-2 form is their employer identification number (EIN). It’s important to make sure the EIN listed matches what’s on file. Make sure you’re not accidentally filing taxes with the wrong employer’s EIN. If you’re still unsure, contact your employer to ensure that the EIN is correct or check with an accountant if you think something might be wrong.

Every employer has a unique EIN, and if you’re submitting your taxes with the wrong EIN, then it will cause a delay in processing and receiving your tax refund. While employers are responsible for ensuring that accurate information is submitted, it’s your responsibility as an employee to double-check that the EIN is correct so you can receive your refund as early as possible.

Incorrect Social Security Number

If your social security number doesn’t match up with your W-2 form, it could be because of a typo. Social security numbers are the same across every form, so double-check that yours is correct before filing. The last thing you want is to find out that someone else may have already claimed your Social Security Number as their own. There are several things you can do when you notice there has been a mistake with your SSN.

  • Contact the IRS directly to report the problem. Make sure you have your social security number, address, and phone number on hand when calling so they can quickly resolve the issue for you.
  • If someone has already claimed your SSN as their own, there’s not much that can be done to fix it but now is the time to act before they do anything more with this information. You should know how to avoid tax fraud to protect yourself. 
  • You can also fill out Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, to find out what else you need to do next.  

Incorrect Wages

Incorrect wages are the single most common mistake made when filing W-2 forms. If you worked for different companies during the year, your total pay from each company needs to be reported correctly for each of your employers. Payroll taxes and filing requirements can vary from company to company, so it’s important to review forms carefully before submitting them. 

Also, make sure that the boxes for taxes withheld match what you actually paid in taxes during the year. Finally, check that any benefits listed as taxable income also match up with your actual pay and withholding amounts from those items (like company cars or reimbursed travel expenses). The good news is that you can check all of these things and submit your W-2 forms on time, even if they aren’t perfect. 

What Should You Do With an Incorrect W-2?

If you get an incorrect W-2 form from your existing or former employer, don’t panic. You can either report the mistake to the IRS, consult a tax specialist, or file a substitute form via Form 4852. Either way, you’ll need to file your taxes on time, so keep that in mind while you’re working through the process.

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