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View Full Version : W-2 is wrong, what to do?


minnie1928
01-27-2006, 08:24 PM
My mom's w-2 is wrong and her employer refuses to correct it. Basically, she has a flexible spending account that she uses to pay for my father's adult daycare. I use a FSA for my children's daycare expenses and my w-2 has the amount shown in Box 10. Her w-2, box 10 is completely empty. We pointed this out to her employer and even sent them the instructions for box 10 as outlined on the IRS's website and they still refuse to correct it.

Does anyone know how we should handle this? I use Taxcut, should I fill in box 10 with the correct amount, even though the employer's version has a 0?

You guys always give great advice, so who better to turn to? :thumbsup2

vhoffman
01-27-2006, 08:30 PM
Go to www.irs.gov. There's a section on "If employer refuses to give you a w2". That should give you some idea how to proceed.

You still have a lot of time to file (although if you have a refund coming, you want it ASAP!). Do NOT file a return that has information different from your w2. That is, do NOT put the dependent care amount in the box on the form. If your return does not match your w-2 exactly, you will be flagged for an incorrect return. Try explaining to a computer!

I'd try to get an ammended w-2 from your employer. You still have time.

minnie1928
01-27-2006, 08:38 PM
Go to www.irs.gov. There's a section on "If employer refuses to give you a w2". That should give you some idea how to proceed.

You still have a lot of time to file (although if you have a refund coming, you want it ASAP!). Do NOT file a return that has information different from your w2. That is, do NOT put the dependent care amount in the box on the form. If your return does not match your w-2 exactly, you will be flagged for an incorrect return. Try explaining to a computer!

I'd try to get an ammended w-2 from your employer. You still have time.

I hadn't thought to approach it the way you suggested, so I'll check out the IRS site on that. No refund due...so I'm in no hurry to file her return. As far as the employer ammending the return, my best hope is that other employees will find the mistake as well and complain.

Thanks!

imsayin
01-27-2006, 08:53 PM
Page down a bit here - IRS' answer (http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq1-15.html)

Lisa loves Pooh
01-27-2006, 08:53 PM
why would they refuse to correct. It seems they would HAVE to correct it.

You might try calling an accountant just to get the official scoop for you.

My hubby's W-2's were wrong one year. They continued taking a state tax out for a field assignment. They did this the whole year when his assignment ended in January. His company had no problem correcting it.

Basically if they don't fix it now--you will have little recourse once you file the income taxes.

There would have to be some non-compliance issue going on here.

Lisa loves Pooh
01-27-2006, 08:57 PM
Here's precisely what you do:

I received an incorrect W-2 form. I can't get my former employer to issue a corrected W-2? What should I do?

If your attempts to have an incorrect Form W-2 (PDF) corrected by your employer are unsuccessful and it is after February 15th, contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040. An IRS representative can initiate a Form W-2 (PDF) complaint. Form 4598, Form W-2 or 1099 Not Received or Incorrect, will be sent to the employer and a copy will be sent to you along with Form 4852 (PDF), 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. The copy that the employer receives will advise him or her of the employer's responsibilities to provide a correct Form W-2 (PDF) and of the penalties for failure to do so. When you call the IRS or visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC), please have the following information available:

Your employer's name and complete address, including zip code, employer identification number (if known - see prior year's Form W-2 (PDF) if you worked for the same employer), and telephone number,
Your name, address, including zip code, social security number, and telephone number; and
An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and the period you worked for that employer. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

If you file your return and attach Form 4852 (PDF) to support the withholding amount claimed instead of a Form W-2 (PDF), your refund can be delayed while the information you gave us is verified.

If you receive a Form W-2 (PDF) after you file your return and it does not agree with the income or withheld tax you reported on your return, file an amended return on Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

crisi
01-27-2006, 09:37 PM
Since that says the IRS won't intervene until Feb 15th, I'd send that to the payroll department letting them know you are calling the IRS on the 15th if you don't get it corrected. No one wants complaints filed with the IRS.

disneychrista
01-27-2006, 11:06 PM
One reason an employeer wouldn't want to correct a W-2 is cost. We use a PR agency and to have a W-2 corrected can be costly. Especially since most likely it would not be just your mom's that is affected but everyone who participates with the Flex Account.

disneyfanintn
01-27-2006, 11:13 PM
OK, I've worked in a payroll department before actually handling W-2's and threating to call the IRS doesn't make anyone get in a hurray to help one out. It probably does just the opposite. The best way, to resolve your problem would be to call the company and speak to the Manager of Payroll or whoever is over that area. Speaking nicely will go a long way to quicker getting the problem resolved.

Just my two cents.

vhoffman
01-28-2006, 12:03 AM
She's already contacted the company to ask for a corrected w-2 with no results. I assume she asked "nicely". I would suggest to ask "nicely" again, speak to someone in authority, such as a manager, don't mention the IRS the second time, but if you get no response by Feb 13, call again and "nicely" mention the IRS. Speak "nicely" but carry a big stick!

vhoffman
01-28-2006, 12:06 AM
Oh, and "threats" do work with payroll issues. Once I had an employer not pay me for vacation time (long story). I called and said I had reported it to the gov't--forget the exact name now, it was 20 years ago, but something like Fair Labor Wage Board, or something like that. Well, I hadn't actually reported it yet--I had called for a form to complain. However, I didn't need to--within one day of my "nice" threat I got a check FedEx for the full amount owed me. I wonder if my "threat" had anything to do with it? :rolleyes:

simpilotswife
01-28-2006, 01:01 AM
OK, I've worked in a payroll department before actually handling W-2's and threating to call the IRS doesn't make anyone get in a hurray to help one out. It probably does just the opposite. The best way, to resolve your problem would be to call the company and speak to the Manager of Payroll or whoever is over that area. Speaking nicely will go a long way to quicker getting the problem resolved.

Just my two cents.
Obviously you have never dealt with the IRS. Trust me, the last thing that anyone wants is the IRS poking around in their business.

To the OP, depending on the size of the company you might want to call the owner and clue them in. It sounds like someone in payroll screwed up when setting up the deductions and they don't want anyone to know.....

minnie1928
01-28-2006, 09:36 AM
I had my mom nicely mention it to her boss, who passed it up the chain to the controller. Who's response was that her w-2 was correct. I'm an accountant at a bank and there's a CPA down the hall. We pulled up the IRS site for Box 10 and verified that we were correct. So I sent mom the IRS link and pulled the text from the site stating that Box 10 needs to be filled with her dependant care information. She forwarded that and asked them if the information in the IRS notes would apply to her, they said they wouldn't. So, we've asked twice....I don't see a third time doing any good except to really annoy some people up the chain. Also, there is no owner...she works for a local government! Oh, the irony in that :rolleyes1

This was the first year they offered Flexible Spending Accounts at her workplace, so I guess they'll live and learn. I guess I'll contact the IRS for further confirmation and then go the route of filing a w-2 complaint. The last thing mom needs is to have the IRS knocking on her door.

Thanks for all the great advice :wave2:

KLAIT
01-28-2006, 09:55 AM
It almost sounds like the money deducted from the check for the FSA was treated as "Plain" FSA funds rather than Dependent Daycare funds.

TheRatPack
01-28-2006, 10:10 AM
I have a question on W2s, why does the end of the year not match up with the end of the year on the check stub? Last year (2004) does but 2005's does not match up, is it not supposed to necessarily?

Thanks!!!

disneysteve
01-28-2006, 10:42 AM
I have a question on W2s, why does the end of the year not match up with the end of the year on the check stub? Last year (2004) does but 2005's does not match up, is it not supposed to necessarily?

This may depend on your pay periods. For example, my last check of 2005 was for 12/8 to 12/21. The next check was for 12/22 to 1/4/06 and was given to me on 1/13. Neither of those checks has final YTD numbers of 2005.

CajunDixie
01-28-2006, 10:57 AM
Also, there is no owner...she works for a local government!
Of course there is an owner, the taxpayers! Local government should be able to work up the chain to the state governor. I work for a small local government and we have to have all of our financial stuff approved on a state level. And since we live in an area of small towns our local newspaper is always looking for new stories, especially now with elected officials signing up for re-election. ;)

imsayin
01-28-2006, 11:31 AM
Last year (2004) does but 2005's does not match up, is it not supposed to necessarily?

Also, pre-tax deductions for health insurance, 401K, etc. can make the numbers appear not to match.

minnie1928
01-28-2006, 11:47 AM
It almost sounds like the money deducted from the check for the FSA was treated as "Plain" FSA funds rather than Dependent Daycare funds.

Can you explain what you mean by a "Plain" FSA? I've never heard that terminology before....

blanq
01-28-2006, 12:39 PM
I don't necessarily agree that the W2 is wrong. FSA's are complicated. What portion of your mother's flexible benefits does she pay vs. her employer? If the employer is kicking in dollars towards those benefits, then the ones they are paying for will NOT show on a W2. I'll use me as an example. I get a specified number of flexible dollars from my employer to allocate them as I choose. Last year I allocated them toward health insurance, $1000 in pretax child care, $500 in pretax flex med spending, short term disability and life insurance. My employer's contribution toward those benefits meant that they ended up paying entirely for my monthly med. premiums, my pretax flex med. dollars and almost all of my child care. Even though I had $1000 in actual daycare expenses, my W2 for last year shows those expenses as being $87.88. My W2 is correct; my wages only contributes $87.88 to my daycare costs for the year as my employer paid for the rest.

DisneyTarheel
01-28-2006, 12:49 PM
Can you explain what you mean by a "Plain" FSA? I've never heard that terminology before....I suspect they are referring to a health care FSA, which (I *think*) does not show up on your W2 at all. (i.e, it is netted out *before* they calculate what goes in box 5 "Medicare wages and tips" -- unlike, for example, your 401k contributions, which *are* included in box 5, but get netted out *on* the W2 in box 1 "wages, tips, other comp.")

minnie1928
01-28-2006, 03:27 PM
I don't necessarily agree that the W2 is wrong. FSA's are complicated. What portion of your mother's flexible benefits does she pay vs. her employer?

Her employer pays nothing towards her flex benefits, it's completely her contributions, pre tax. She had done two FSA accounts, one for dependant care and one for medical. I know the medical one doesn't show up on your w-2, but from what I can see the dependant care one should show up on box 10.

KLAIT
01-28-2006, 04:15 PM
DisneyTarheel

Yes, that is what I am referring to. The Medical portion of the Flex Spending. It does not appear on the W-2. When a 125B plan is set up, the employer has the decision as to whether they want the Dependent care portion offered with the medical portion. From what it sounds like, the employer may have treated these funds as part of the medical portion and therefore, the W-2 itself is not incorrect. The easiest question to answer is did the employee have to have the money deducted from her check BEFORE she was able to get the money back as reimbursement. With the medical Portion of an FSA, the employer assumes some risk in that the employee is allowed to request money from the FSA before they have the amount deducted from the check...with the Dependent Care portion, the employer is not at risk because the money has to be deducted before the money can be reimbursed.

minnie1928
01-28-2006, 06:27 PM
DisneyTarheel

Yes, that is what I am referring to. The Medical portion of the Flex Spending. It does not appear on the W-2. When a 125B plan is set up, the employer has the decision as to whether they want the Dependent care portion offered with the medical portion. From what it sounds like, the employer may have treated these funds as part of the medical portion and therefore, the W-2 itself is not incorrect. The easiest question to answer is did the employee have to have the money deducted from her check BEFORE she was able to get the money back as reimbursement. With the medical Portion of an FSA, the employer assumes some risk in that the employee is allowed to request money from the FSA before they have the amount deducted from the check...with the Dependent Care portion, the employer is not at risk because the money has to be deducted before the money can be reimbursed.

I'm gonna ask mom to get me a history of her claims/deposits from the Flex administration company that her employer uses. Perhaps that would clarify this point for me. She always had money taken from her check before she made claims....although as I type this I'm now remembering that her claims were always more than what was reimbursed. So that would lead me to believe that it truly was tagged as dependant care account. If not, they would have paid the entire amount of the claims until she exhausted her annual allotment (like they do on my medical FSA). Does that make sense? :confused3