How to File Taxes With the Last Pay Stub [2024]

how to file taxes with last pay stub

Establishing your own business has many advantages. However, managing your employers also means you have to send in monthly pay stubs and yearly W-2 forms.

Although this process sounds difficult at first, you must send out these documents as you are required to do so by law. Fortunately, there is an easy and quick way for you to create your own pay stubs and W-2 forms using our free online generator!

So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about pay stubs, W-2 forms, and which one is needed to pay your taxes.

Key Takeaways

  • A pay stub is a document that employers send to their employees for a detailed breakdown of their salaries.
  • A W-2 form is a document that showcases the total wage amount of the employee after the tax reduction.
  • The best way to file your taxes is through the W-2 form.
  • Filing your taxes with your last pay stub is possible but not recommended as it is not considered an accurate statement of your income.
  • The most efficient way to make W-2 forms and pay stub is to use an online generator.

What is a Pay Stub?

how to file taxes with last pay stub

A pay stub is a document that lists all details of an employee’s wage, such as the total wage, tax reductions, and any additional contributions. Additionally, the pay stub helps employers keep track of their employees’ wages.

Employers are required by law to use pay stubs, and they must send them to employees every month in addition to their paychecks. Additionally, according to the IRS, pay stubs should be kept for four years.

If you’d like to create a pay stub, use our pay stub generator. The process will only take around two minutes, and all you have to do is fill out the template!

What is a W-2 Form?

W-2 Form

A W-2 tax form is a document that lists the employee’s income and the total amount of taxes that were held back from their paycheck. The employer should send the W-2 form to their employees at the beginning of the new year or at the end of the current year. Moreover, this form is used to file all taxes, including federal and state taxes.

A W-2 form is a document that the IRS requires employers to send because it shows all information about the employee’s wages.Therefore, the document must be sent to both the employee and the IRS.

Besides the tax deductions, the W-2 form also lists the amount spent on contributions such as health insurance and any additional savings accounts.

To create your own W-2 form, head over to our W-2 form generator for a quick and easy-to-follow option.

How to File Taxes With Your Last Pay Stub

Pay your taxes now

It is not usually recommended to file taxes with your last pay stub.That’s because your last pay stub is not considered an accurate statement of your income, and chances are they haven’t listed information that will make you file a full tax return.

If it comes to a situation where you need to file a tax return that has missing information, you will be asked to file an additional amended return. This will make the process more costly, and the IRS will take longer to issue you a refund.

If you’re unable to file your taxes with a W-2 form and want to use your final pay stub instead, use IRS Form 4852 instead. The form is available on the IRS website,and all you need to do is download it and attach it to your last pay stub. In this case, your pay stub must include detailed information, such as:

  • Income or wages
  • Any additional deductions or compensations
  • Social security payments
  • Health care payments
  • Any amount of tax deductions

Once you ensure that the pay stub includes all of the above-mentioned information, attach it along with the IRS Form 4852 to your other federal tax return form and send it to the IRS.

It’s important to note that each US state has different regulations when it comes to filing taxes without a W-2 form. You should contact a representative of your state to get any additional information about your taxes.

Comparing the Last Pay Stub to a W-2 Form

how to file taxes with last pay stub

The main difference between your last pay stub and the W-2 form is that when you compare the two, you will get two different outcomes. The pay stub, in this case, will show the total income amount that the employee has received. On the other hand, the W-2 form shows the total taxable earnings that an employee has received throughout the entire year.

Therefore, the W-2 form lists all of the taxable wages that have been noted after pre-tax deductions.

The pre-tax deductions include everything from health insurance plans to 401(k) contributions. Your income amount will generally be higher than what is listed on the W-2 form.

Why is Gross Earnings Different on Your W-2 Form Compared to Your Last Pay Stub?

Here are some of the most common reasons why your gross earnings are different on your W-2 form compared to your last pay stub:

#1. Last Pay Stub Contains Non-Taxable Income

One specific scenario is when the last pay stub contains non-taxable income. This can include anything from reimbursing gifts, compensation, benefits, etc. Usually, these types of non-taxable incomes are listed on the employee’s paycheck.

For example, let’s say that Jake’s total gross income is $78,000, and during the year, he received $6,000 in reimbursement compensation. The total taxable wage that Jake will report on his W-2 form will be $72,000. ($78,000 – $6,000 = $72,000)

#2. Last Pay Stub Contains Company Retirement Plan

If your last pay stub contains a company-planned retirement plan, it will not match your W-2 form. Company retirement plans fall under the 401(k), 403(b), or Simple IRA plan.Due to this plan, your federal taxes and wage income will be reduced.

As an example, if Amy’s total gross income is around $85,000 and, during the year, she has decided to contribute around $5,000 towards her retirement plan, her total wage will be $83,000. ($85,000 – $5,000 = $83,000)

#3. Company Health Insurance

Usually, a company will offer a health insurance plan to its employees. If the employee has agreed to be part of the plan, the total gross amount will be deducted. Moreover, company health insurance plans are usually the main reason why your W-2 form doesn’t fully match your last pay stub.

Let’s take Mikey as an example. If his full gross income for the year is around $106,000 and he decides to contribute around $12,500 to his health insurance plan this year, his total taxable wage will be $93,500. [$106,000 – $12,500 = $93,500]

How to Get a W-2 Form

You can get a W-2 form from your employer, as they need to give you copies of the form at the end of each year. If by any chance you cannot obtain a copy from your employer in time, you can also get it from the IRS website.

However, the quickest way to obtain a W-2 form is to get it from your employer. The employer is required to submit the form to the SSA, and once the administration has processed it, they can send the form to the IRS to check for federal tax information.

A W-2 form can either be sent by the employer or the provider of the payroll. Additionally, they can send it:

  • By email
  • By mail
  • Online as an electronic form

The W-2 form will be sent to you if you have earned at least $600 in the current year. Moreover, you will receive a 1099 form instead of a W-2 if you are a contracted worker instead of an employee of a company.

How to Get Your Last Pay Stub

You can get your last pay stub by either contacting your employer or a representative of the company’s human resources department. They will tell you what to do to obtain your last pay stub and how long it will take to receive the document.

After you get an answer, you will most likely need to make a request to get your last year’s pay stub. This process usually includes the following:

  1. Fill out the pay stub request form
  2. Sign the form and send it either by email or mail
  3. Pay for the submission fee if necessary
  4. Contact the representative to make sure they received the request

Once you clarify the waiting time, the representative can send you the pay stubs by mail or email.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether you’re an employer or an employee, you will need to tackle both pay stubs and the W-2 form. Both documents are required by law and serve as proof of your tax payments and deductions.

Although the process might sound tedious, it doesn’t have to be. Use our pay stub and W-2 form generator, which will easily guide you through a step-by-step creation process!

We can also help you generate other documents, like 1099 MISC. Check out what we have to offer, and feel free to contact us if you need help with your paperwork!


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