It’s a new year, and since the Mayan apocalypse didn’t pan out it’s time to start receiving and doing something with those Form W-2(s). Employers are required to send them for every employee who made over $600 in 2012 and had payroll and/or income taxes taken out of their paychecks (pretty much everyone who worked last year). The employee and IRS each get a copy. They’re used to report income, calculate taxes, and disclose other information required by the Internal Revenue Code. If you don’t have yours yet you can still start planning your taxes, but you can’t actually pay the bill until you have the W-2. At any rate, forms should have been in the mail by year end, so contact your employer(s) ASAP as it’s likely there was a mix-up. If you move around a lot or want to streamline the process, many employers are now offering to have the form sent electronically. You have to legally consent to receive your W-2 over the web, but many find it preferable to snail mail. FYI, the electronic version is a legal copy approved by the IRS, so need to worry about that.
Still have questions? Check out this guide to understanding your W-2 below.
Related from Joy of Tax Law: The End is Near, Pay Your Taxes
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