What Happens If I Only File One Of My Two W2s
By Davis Clarkson , March 3 2021
Let's paint a picture of many people during tax season. They have filed their yearly returns and are either celebrating a refund or annoyed at a return. But then a pesky second W2 comes in the mail. Have you ever been in this position of filing only one W2 at tax time when you needed to submit two or more?
Asking yourself, "what happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 W2s" should not be a stress-inducer. There are a lot of individuals in your shoes in a similar situation. Submitting your second W2 to account for all income puts you in an honest and legal space when it comes to your taxes.
Continue reading below for the why and how behind W2 tax filing when you have multiple forms to submit (or amend).
Explaining What Happens If I am a Dependent Filing Taxes and Only File One of 2 W2s
A W2 shares the number of wages you received as a business's employee and taxes withheld on those wages. Simply put, W2 tax filing exposes your full income from the year to the IRS when tax season comes around. There are many forms associated with representing your income to the IRS, and it can be confusing.
For example, W2s and W4s are both used in understanding your entire yearly income. The difference between a W2 and W4 form is the amount you will owe when filing your taxes. You can submit a W4 to tell your employer how much to withhold from each paycheck for taxes. Withholding more throughout the year prevents large tax payouts, no matter how many W2s you file.
None of your income goes unseen, which means filing only one W2 can impact your standing with the IRS.
The IRS Tracking Method
Do you cover your yearly expenses and necessities with multiple streams of income? If you answered yes, you need to account for filing two W2s or more from your various employers. You live a hectic life in your day-to-day. Tracking your income can be difficult if you are working two jobs and having to file two W2 forms.
However, the IRS keeps track of your job movements related to the income you bring in and taxes withheld on each paycheck. Your social security number (SSN) is the identifier that follows your income from job to job. The IRS utilizes your unique number to ensure it knows what your income is each year.
Social security numbers will prominently label each W2, tax return, and any official forms or documentation you send to the IRS. This means that each W2 you receive, even after you've filed your yearly taxes, is not something you can ignore.
The Process Filing Only One W2
So what happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 W2s? You need to account for all income of your income on your tax return to avoid audits and major future penalties. Filing all of the W2s you receive is a must, but there are different processes to follow if you are receiving a refund or owning the government.
If you account for the full year income even with filing only one W2, you don't need to move forward with the following steps. This is for employees who have not accounted for all income and didn't go through filing two W2s.
When You're Receiving a Tax Refund
Don't you love the feeling when your tax return comes back to say that you are getting a refund? Everyone gives a little whoop of joy to see that. But the IRS may keep your refund from you if you need to move forward with filing two W2s. You will either receive the refund or a letter stating that you need to file an amended return before your refund is issued.
You will not be charged with penalties in this case. However, the IRS will give you a limited amount of time to submit an amended return. To get your money, you need to submit it! If you receive your refund even with filing only one W2, you are smart to submit an amendment. You may be owed a larger refund, depending on the second W2.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to receive the money you deserve.
When You Have a Balance Due
But what happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 W2s and have a balance due? You need to take action as soon as possible in this circumstance. The Internal Revenue Service wants the full amount it's owed just as you do in filing your taxes. Not reporting your entire income and filing only one W2 means the balance you owe may be more than what's reported.
This jeopardizes your standing with the IRS and places penalties and fines on your return. You must wait for the IRS to file your return before taking action. You will need to submit an amended tax return by the IRS deadline. The sooner you take action, the better, as the IRS may hold future refunds from you if you don't follow up on the W2 tax filing.
You may be able to submit the first return and the amended before the April 15th deadline if you're timely. However, you can file an amended return after April 15th to ensure your filing two W2s in quick succession.
Best Practices to Filing Two W2s
You don't need to fear if you are stuck with the question of what happens if I am a dependent filing taxes and only file one of my 2 W2s. Multiple streams of income and switching jobs halfway through the year are regular occurrences. But you do want to take action on W2 tax filing as the IRS tracks your income regularly through your SSN.
Filing an amended tax return is essential to keep yourself in good standing. It's not necessary in the first case but pivotal in the second. Make sure you are following up as needed if a second W2 arrives in your mailbox. Make your W2s with ease using our services so you or your employees can avoid the need for amended filing. Learn all you need to know about the form W2.