How to File Taxes Without W-2 or Pay Stub

How to File Taxes Without W-2 or Pay Stub
May 26, 2023
5 min read
May 26, 2023
6 min read

If your employer hasn’t sent you a W-2 form or a pay stub, you can use other ways to file taxes. This article covers all the details about other forms and resources. Let’s dive in.

What is Form W-2?

Form W-2 is a tax document that employers send to their employees. It shows your income and taxes withheld from your paycheck, so you can file your taxes when the time comes.

The first section of the copy of Form W-2 shows how much income you earned during that tax period (a calendar year). It can include things like salary, tips, commissions, and even overtime pay if applicable (more on this later). 

The second section lists any other sources of income besides wages, such as dividends or interest payments from the companies. They call it “other forms” because they don’t report it under the "wages" category in some cases.

Can You File Taxes Without a W-2?

File Taxes Without W-2 or Pay Stub

Yes, you can file taxes without a W-2. If you worked for an employer during the year and did not receive a W-2 form from them, then it's likely that the IRS will want to see your income tax return. 

It includes all of your wages (including tips) and other compensation income reported on Schedule C.

How to File Taxes Without a W-2

You can file your taxes without a W-2. If you do not have a W-2, the IRS will allow you to "self-prepare" your return by filling out information for each employer and all the income. They call it “Prepare to File,” or PTF, and it's only available if:

  • Your tax liability is $50 or less
  • You don’t owe any debts
  • And finally, if you're single with no dependents and make less than $65K/year then there's no need for them anyway

If you don't get an annual W-2 from your employer, there are other ways to fill out Form 1040-ES for employment taxes and reportable tips:

  • You can use IRS Form 8919 (PDF) instead of the 1040-ES. Independent contractors who earn over $400 per year in tips but don't receive any other compensation from their employer or business owners who pay them directly via salary or commission wages can use this. 

It will also help if someone else files this form on behalf of an employee without providing supporting documentation like W-2s).

  • You could also use IRS Form 8879 (PDF) if they have any self-employment income - which includes rental property rental fees plus interest earned on savings accounts/CDs/mutual funds investments made using personal funds rather than through bank loans/mortgages etcetera).

Can You File Taxes Without a Pay Stub?

A pay stub is a document that shows the wages you have earned from your employer. Your employer will send you one every time they pay you, including overtime and bonuses. 

You’ll find this information on your W-2 form, which shows all of your taxable income from the previous year and taxes owed for that year. You should use last pay stub to file taxes. However, you can file taxes without a pay stub by using other forms and providing the correct information about your total income.

How to File Taxes Without a Pay Stub

You need the last pay stub for tax files but there are other options too. The IRS requires that you send a copy of your W-2 statement to them. If you don't have one, the IRS will ask for one when they send out their tax forms.

If you have never filed taxes before, this may seem daunting because there are so many things to keep track of. You'll need to know:

  • How much income your employer reported on their quarterly or yearly payroll
  • What deductions they claimed on their W-2s (if any)

What Is the Law About Sending W-2 Statements?

W-2 statements are required by employers to be sent to employees. The law requires that the employers should send them by January 31st of each year, but if you receive your W-2 before then, it's perfectly fine to keep it until February 14th, the next business day after you receive the statement.

Employees do have the option of requesting a copy of their previous year's W-2 at any time during tax season.

Can You Get a W-2 From the IRS?

You can get a W-2 form from the IRS and you don't have to pay any money for it. The IRS is the place that sends out W-2 forms, so if you're looking for one, all you need to do is fill out an online form at and put your name, address, and Social Security number on it.

Get W-2 Form Online

You can get a W-2 form online. If you do not have access to the internet and are unable to print out a W-2, you may be able to get one from your employer in person or over the phone.

The IRS has also provided instructions on how to file taxes by using e-file services like TurboTax and TaxAct. You can find the guide “how to file taxes with the last pay stub on TurboTax.”

What You Need to Know to File Taxes in 2023

You need to know the following things before filing taxes:

  • What is a tax return? A return is an official document that you file with the IRS to report your income, deductions, and other information. The return is usually due on April 15th of each year (unless it falls on a weekend or holiday), but can be filed at any time in between those dates.
  • What is a tax refund? When you receive money from the government for doing nothing, like making too much money or paying too little in taxes. Estimating tax refunds from the last paycheck is important to know before filing the taxes.
  • What are some common deadlines for filing taxes? There are two main deadlines: One applies when filing electronically (which means everything goes through one set location), while another applies when filing manually by mail/fax etc.

Create Your Pay Stubs With

Now, you can create your pay stubs online. If you already have a W-2 from last year or another employer, then it's easy to use that information and create a new pay stub for yourself. 

For example, if you want to know how much money was taken out of your paycheck last month and what taxes were paid on that amount (as well as how much tax was withheld), all of these details are easy to find in the online form provided by, a free service offered by employers who want their employees' data stored securely online so that they can be easily accessed when needed (like during audits).

So go ahead and sign up today while there's still time before deadlines start piling up.


  • When am I supposed to get my W-2?

You are supposed to get your W-2 forms by January 31st, but if you are self-employed, that deadline is much later.

If your employer has provided you with a W-2 form and sent it in on time and in good condition, then there should be no problem getting this information from them. However, if they haven't done so yet (or haven't been able to), call up their office or send them an email asking them when they'll be mailing out the W-2s for this year's taxes. 

  • What if I am unable to get a W-2?

You can file Form 4852 without a pay stub and attach it to your tax return. This form allows the IRS to estimate your income based on several factors including:

  • The number of hours worked during a specific period (for example, if you worked 40 hours per week for 10 weeks)
  • An amount equal to one hour's pay (if this is less than $100)
  • Do you need your most recent paycheck stub to do your taxes?

You can use your last paycheck stub to file taxes. Moreover, if you have had a change in job title or responsibilities since then and are uncertain about which one is correct for reporting purposes, then a pay stub from the previous year may be more useful.

  • How can I input my W-2 information from my most recent paychecks?

If you have a W-2, use it. However, if you don't have a W-2, use your most recent pay stubs. In addition, You can also use two or three of the last four pay stubs and the last two pay stubs (or any combination thereof).

You should start estimating paycheck taxes to calculate your payroll before filing the tax.

  • If I don't have my W-2 yet, may I use my most recent pay stub instead?

No. A pay stub is not enough to file your taxes without a W-2. You will need to wait until you get your W-2 and then fill out the rest of the form correctly.

  • What happens if you don't file taxes?

You could be charged with a penalty, interest, and/or taxes if you don't file your taxes.

Final Thoughts on Filing for Tax Without W-2 or Pay Stub

If you didn’t receive your W-2 or pay stub, you can use other forms to file your taxes. However, there are plenty of other online platforms such as

It is a free service that helps you create your pay stub on your own. We hope this article has guided you on how to file your taxes without a W-2 or pay stub.