It is now October and just before the start of the financial year, which for many will mean starting work on their income tax return or planning to file an income tax return (ITR). For those who are thinking of working from home, the first task to complete is getting your W-2 from your employer. You then need to make sure that all of the information which the IRS requires for your ITR filing is attached to your W-2. This article will give you instructions on how to do this.
Get A Copy Of Your W-2
The first step is to get a copy of your W-2 from your employer. You can do this either by going into your human resources department and requesting a copy through them, or by asking your payroll department for a copy. If you have not already done so, you should look into this now as you may need to file your ITR before the end of the year in order to ensure that you get your money back plus any additional money you are entitled to. The earlier you file, the fewer penalties you will incur.
What Is The Purpose Of My W-2?
The form W-2 is primarily used to report payments made to you by your employer. These funds are referred to as ‘taxable wages’ in the United States because, as an employee, you are responsible for paying income tax on them. Your employer is required to withhold income tax from your wages and send it to the IRS. This income tax is then credited to your individual account when you file your taxes. You do not have to file an ITR if you are an independent contractor or a sole trader.
How Do I Get All Of The Information From My W-2?
When you get your W-2 from your employer, you will already have some of the information which the IRS requires for your ITR filing. This is because your employer is required by law to collect the appropriate information from their employees and supply it to the IRS. The following is a list of the categories of information which the IRS requires be included on your W-2:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your fax number
- Whether you are an employee or a contractor
- The number of your W-2
- The amount you were paid
- The amount of any income taxes withheld
- The form of payment you received
- The name of the business in which you were employed
How Do I Complete My ITR Online?
If you are filing your taxes online, you can simply enter your W-2 information onto the correct forms in the correct manner and submit. You will then need to follow the onscreen instructions to setup your banking information and submit your ITR. You can find automated software to help you with this process (free of charge)
Many people have the misconception that filing taxes online is easy. In reality, it can be quite the opposite. There are a few simple steps to follow in order to accomplish this but there is a lot of room for error, resulting in a lot of people seeking professional help with their taxes. It is essential that you follow these steps correctly or else you risk being penalized by the IRS.
What If I Do Not Receive My W-2 From My Employer?
If you do not receive your W-2 from your employer within 10 days of the end of the year, you should contact the IRS and ask them to look into the matter. You should also keep in mind that you may have to pay a small fee for this investigation (up to $195). However, it is still cheaper, in terms of fees, to have the IRS investigate your tax situation as opposed to having to pay a private tax attorney to do this for you.
Can I Get My W-2 From My Grandparents?
If you are an heir or beneficiary of an estate or trust, you may be able to get a copy of your W-2 from your grandparents or other relatives. You would need to contact the IRS and ask for the most recent tax returns filed by the estate or trust. You must then sign a document authorizing your grandparents to release your information or the IRS could potentially deny you access to this information. Check with an accountant or attorney to see if this is even an option for you.
Do I Need To File My ITR If I Am A Contractor?
If you are a contractor or freelancer, you do not have to file an ITR. However, you must still report to the IRS the amount of money you make as a contractor. You are required to report any income above a certain amount (currently $128,400 for 2016) and you must also report the value of any vehicles or property you use in your business. You are not required to report any income or deductions which your employer properly withholds from your wages. You may, however, voluntarily file an ITR and claim any deductions that you are entitled to. If you do not file an ITR, you will have to pay a significant penalty (currently $1,000). However, if you do file an ITR, you have the option of claiming a large number of deductions, which can greatly reduce the amount of taxes you have to pay.
How Do I Complete My ITR If I Am Self-Employed?
If you are self-employed and do not have a W-2, you first need to determine your income for the year. You can use any method you choose to do this (manually or via software) but you must have accurate information. You then need to attach a copy of your W-2 to your ITRA which shows your income and the federal and state taxes you paid during the year. You then need to enter the information onto the correct forms in the correct manner and submit. You can find automated software to help you with this process (free of charge)
Many people think that completing an ITR is quite easy. This could not be more wrong. In reality, it can be quite the opposite. There are a few simple steps to follow but there is a lot of room for error, resulting in a lot of people seeking professional help with their taxes. It is essential that you follow these steps correctly or else you risk being penalized by the IRS.
If you are self-employed and need help figuring out what your 2016 income is, you can contact us here at the Tax Law Firm of Irvine Witt. We will be happy to help you complete your 2016 income tax return (free of charge)
Remember, you can always get your W-2 from your employer, even if you do not have one. You just have to make sure that you get it not later than October 31st of the current year. If you do not have your W-2 by then, you should contact the IRS and ask for an extension. In most cases, this will not be a problem as the IRS has more than enough time to get your W-2 to you by October 31st. Just make sure that you are not charging anyone for the extension or that you are doing this as part of your job (in which case, you will need to speak with your employer regarding this).
The earlier you get your W-2 from your employer, the fewer mistakes you will make in your income tax return. If you are looking for a faster way to file your taxes, you can always choose to do them yourself via IRS Free File Program. Just visit https://www.irs.gov/freerfile and select the ‘single’ or ‘joint’ return option and follow the steps. This option will help you get your W-2 from your employer and save you the time and effort of going through this process manually. You will not need to pay anyone to help you and you will not need an accountant or attorney to prepare your taxes for you.