Can You Use Your Last Pay Stub to File Taxes? This is What to Know

As Tax Day approaches, people are scrambling to get their taxes together and to get them filed on time. Even though the date to file and pay has been extended by 90 days, you still want your refund as soon as possible.

As you’re going through your documents, you might find that you have a few missing, like a W-2 form. What can you do to file taxes without one?

Can you use your last pay stub to file taxes?

Read on to find out.

Your Last Pay Stub vs. W-2 Form

What’s the difference between the last pay stub and a W-2 form? Your pay stub is what’s used every pay period. The information contained there includes how much you earned in a pay period, and how much was withheld for taxes, retirement savings, and other benefits like health insurance.

A pay stub also holds year-to-date information, so the total of all earnings and withholdings for the year.

A W-2 form is sent by your employer that shows your earnings and taxes withheld for the entire year. This also has your employer’s tax ID number, which is used to match what you report with what your employer reports.

Any discrepancies turn into a red flag for the IRS to investigate further. That can cause delays in processing the return or an audit.

Can You Use Your Last Pay Stub to File Taxes?

Yes, you can use your last pay stub to file taxes. However, there are a couple of caveats. You’re going to be responsible for the information on your last pay stub, so you need to make sure that it’s accurate.

Also, keep in mind that your tax preparer might not touch your return without a W-2 form since that’s an official form. When they do your return, they sign off on it saying that it’s accurate and correct.

Tax preparers don’t want to risk their license and livelihood because you didn’t present the right forms. You’ll be better off doing taxes on your own.

You should make every attempt possible to get a W-2 form for your business. Document those attempts and keep a record of them.

How to File Taxes with Your Last Pay Stub

If you have to file taxes without a W-2 form, or the pay stub you have isn’t correct, you need to fill out Form 4852. You’ll also need your last pay stub. If you can’t find that, create one using a check stub maker.

On the form, you need to demonstrate why you need to use it and sign it. Be sure to complete the form entirely. Explain your attempts to get your W-2 and how you know the information on your last pay stub is accurate.

File Your Taxes Right

Taxes are stressful. They can be more stressful when you’re missing documentation, like your W-2 form. Can you use your last pay stub to file taxes?

Yes, you can. As long as you show that your last pay stub is accurate and you made attempts to get your pay stub, you can. Fill out Form 4852 and you’ll be set.

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