As an employee, making sure you’re set up to get your W2 as early as possible works in your favor. Depending on your broader tax situation, receiving your W2 quickly could allow you to file as soon as the IRS begins accepting returns. However, even if that isn’t the case, getting your W2 as fast as possible means you’re waiting for one less document, and that’s beneficial.
Technically, employers aren’t required to send out employee W2s until January 31. However, many companies begin the process earlier, ensuring they have time to address issues before the deadline.
If You Want to Increase Your Odds of Getting Your W2 As Soon As Possible, Here’s What You Need to Do:
1. Make Sure Your Address Is Correct
Companies often send out W2s by mail, and they’ll use your current on-file address when yours is ready to head out of the door. If you want to make sure your W2 reaches you without issue, then check your employee file to make sure your mailing address is correct. If it isn’t, fix it immediately. Otherwise, your W2 may not make it to you or could get delayed.
2. Update Your On-File Email Address
Companies that have an online option for receiving W2s usually need your email address to complete the process. Your employer may use it to send out notifications when your W2 is ready, to create a login for the online portal, or to send passcodes or verifications before providing access. As a result, you want to confirm that the company has an accurate email address in your file.
3. Provide Permission for Electronic Delivery
Usually, getting your W2 electronically is far faster than waiting for a copy in the mail. However, companies often can’t send a digital W2 without your expressed permission. Typically, you’ll need to complete a document – either physical or digital – and provide a signature. Make sure you’ve completed what’s necessary as soon as possible.
4. Add the Sending Email Address to Your Safelist
If notifications about your W2 are being sent by email, add the sending email address to your safelist. Your safelist is a way to mark emails from specific senders as pre-approved by you, essentially telling the client that you trust the sender. By adding the email address, you’ll prevent messages about your W2 from accidentally ending up in your spam folder.
5. Speak with Human Resources or Payroll
By speaking with HR, payroll, or any other department that’s handling the issuing of W2s, you can find out when they’re scheduled to go out. In some cases, you may even be able to request to receive yours early, though there’s no guarantee that such a request will be accommodated. Still, it’s worth learning about the timeline, as that makes planning for your upcoming filing easier.
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