IRS Form 4852 Explained

Key Takeaways:

  • IRS Form 4852 is a tax form that can be filed by employees when they do not receive or have received an incorrect version of IRS Form W-2 or IRS Form 1099-R.
  • Taxpayers should only file IRS Form 4852 if they have made a significant effort to obtain a corrected or original W-2 or 1099-R form from their payer.
  • IRS Form 4852 is due on the same date as the taxpayer’s personal income tax return, which is April 15th.
  • If taxpayers receive the missing tax form after filing an IRS 4852 Form and there are discrepancies in the information reported, they will have to file an amended tax return using IRS Form 1040-X.

Table of Contents

What Is IRS Form 4852?

IRS Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., is a tax form used by taxpayers during a situation when their employer has issued an incorrect IRS Form W-2 or IRS Form 1099-R, or if they haven’t received their tax forms at all. 

Without an IRS W-2 Form or IRS 1099 Form, the taxpayer would be unable to determine their tax rate and tax bracket based on their taxable income and filing status. Additionally, without these forms, they could not calculate their tax liability or tax refund amount after considering which tax exemption, such as a tax deduction (such as a standard deduction or itemized deduction), or a tax credit, applies to their tax situation. 

Due to the importance of this information in relation to tax filing, if these forms are not obtained, the taxpayer must pursue tax filing using IRS Form 4852 instead.

Who Needs IRS Form 4852?

There are two situations when people will need to file IRS Form 4852:

1. An employee has not received a W-2 Tax Form or 1099-R Tax Form by February 15th of the tax year.

2. A taxpayer has received a W-2 Tax Form or 1099-R Tax Form with incorrect information.

While filing IRS Form 4852 will resolve either of these situations, the easiest resolution option would be for a taxpayer to contact their employer directly to request the correct version of the document. However, if they are unable to acquire the appropriate forms from the business they work for, individuals should proceed by filing IRS Form 4852.

When To File IRS Form 4852

IRS Form 4852 is due to be filed at the same time as your federal income tax return. Tax Day usually falls on April 15, but if that date is on a weekend or federal holiday, the tax return filing deadline is extended to the next business day.

What Happens If You Receive Missing Tax Forms After Filing IRS Form 4852?

If the taxpayer files their income tax return with IRS Form 4852 and then afterward receives the missing W-2 or 1099-R form from their employer, they will have to compare the information with the details they reported in the 4852 form.

If the information on both forms is the same, the taxpayer does not have to do anything. If there are differences between the information reported on the tax forms, the taxpayer will be required to file IRS Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

How To Fill Out IRS Form 4852

Here are the instructions for filling out IRS Form 4852:

Part 1: Name

Individuals must include their full legal name which is shown on their tax return forms when filling out IRS Form 4852. 

Part 2: Social Security Number

Line 2 of the 4852 Tax Form is where users must input their Social Security number, which is the taxpayer identification number (TIN) associated with their tax account.

Part 3: Address

Customers must include their most recent mailing address under Line 3 of the tax form.

Part 4: Missing Tax Form and Year

Part 4 of IRS Form 4852 is where taxpayers must select which tax form they have not received or have received an erroneous copy of, whether that is IRS Form W-2 or IRS Form 1099-R.

Part 5. Employer Information

Line 5 of the tax form allows taxpayers to print the name, address, and ZIP code of their employer, payer, or company. 

Part 6: Employer’s TIN

Part 6 of the tax form is where the worker should list the TIN of their payer if that information is known. The employer’s TIN is required to submit the IRS 4852 tax forms electronically, so it is highly recommended that taxpayers try to obtain this information.

Part 7: W-2 Form Wages and Withholdings

Part 7 of the IRS 4852 Form is the section where taxpayers can enter the information that was missing from their W-2 Tax Form, including the wages, tips, other compensation, and taxes withheld. 

Part 8: 1099-R Form Distributions and Withholdings

Part 8 of IRS Form 4852 allows taxpayers to enter the correct information that was missing from their 1099-R Tax Form. These details include gross distributions, capital gains, and federal, state, and local income tax withheld.

Part 9: Information Source

Line 9 of IRS Form 4852 is where the individual must disclose how they determined the amounts reported in Parts 7 and 8 are correct. This explanation could include a description of how they estimated their income or withholdings using their paychecks, or how they used a statement that reported their distribution. 

Part 10: Attempts To Obtain Form W-2 or Form 1099-R

The final line of the IRS 4852 Tax Form is for taxpayers to explain how they have attempted to obtain the original or corrected IRS W-2 Form or IRS 1099-R Form from their employer before proceeding with filing IRS Form 4852.

Filing accurate tax returns that meet all of the IRS requirements is the best strategy to avoid unnecessary tax penalties and fees, so if you are unsure about your tax return, contact a tax professional for advice. Don’t miss out on scheduling a free tax consultation with our IRS audit attorneys at Ideal Tax for the answers to your tax questions and a plan to optimize your tax savings.

Luis Ceja, Author
Luis Ceja, Author

Luis graduated from California State University Fullerton with a B.A. in Political Science. As the Director of Operations at Ideal Tax, he combines years of tax related knowledge with industry expertise, solidifying his prominence in the field.

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