Step-by-step guide to using your last pay stub for tax filing

Can I Use My Last Pay Stub to File Taxes? (Step-by-Step Guide)
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Kristen Larson
By Kristen Larson
December 16, 2023
5 min read

After the fun and excitement of the holiday season fades and the new year dawns, the next big thing every American gets indulged in is taxation. Filing for tax returns is an essential but gruesome process. Typically, the employers send W-2 forms to the employees. But if you haven't gotten your W-2, what should you do? You can use your last pay stub to file taxes, per IRS guidelines.

Here we have provided a step-by-step guide to answering an essential question on tax filing days- Can I use my last pay stub to file taxes?

Last Pay Stub Meaning

A pay stub, or paycheck stub, is an official document provided by the employer to its employees. This document is proof of income and contains essential information, including the employee’s salary amount (including net pay, gross pay, and taxable wages), hours worked, employer-provided health insurance (including dental and disability insurance), and tax deductions. The pay stub also contains the company’s and employee's name and address, serving as proof of employment.

The employee's most recent pay stub is known as the "final pay stub."

Can You File Taxes With Your Last Pay Stub?

Can I Use My Last Pay Stub to File Taxes

The official method of filing tax returns is through W-2 forms. However, if you have not received the W-2 form, you can file your income tax return with the last pay stub.

What Information Do You Need to File for Taxes?

First, the personal information you need to get started filing tax returns is yours, your spouse’s, and any dependents’ social security numbers. Next, you will need relevant IRS forms.

Every American must file Form 1040. The IRS forms vary for different income situations. For instance, self-employed and freelancers need to fill out Form 1099. And if you have remained unemployed throughout the year, you will file 1099G.

Other information required when filing taxes includes marital status, health insurance, previous year’s tax, and a credit report. Check out this guide to discover more about tax filing information.

How to File Taxes With Last Pay Stub 

The best way to file taxes with the last pay stub is by filing Internal Revenue Service Form 4852 online.

  • To begin, access Form 4852 on the Internal Revenue Service's website.
  • Form 4852 is the official alternative by the IRS if you have received a faulty W-2 form or have not received it.
  • You need your name, address, social security number, employer’s identification number, and taxable wages to fill out the bottom half of this form.
  • Your paycheck stub should contain this data. Pay stubs can also be used for estimating paycheck taxes. Try filling out this form without any errors.

Learn more information about estimating tax refunds from your last paycheck here.

Get Help From Realcheckstubs

Indeed, filing taxes is one of the least enjoyable tasks. However, using the right tools and guidelines can make the process somewhat tolerable, quick, and hassle-free. If you have not received a W-2 form from your employer or are self-employed, use your last pay stub per IRS guidelines to file taxes. Create your pay stubs using an online pay stub generator.


Can I file taxes without a W-2?

W-2 forms contain all the necessary information required to file tax returns. On or before February 1st of each year, the company will give each employee a copy of the W-2 tax form. However, if the employee forgets to give this form to the employee, the most important question arises- “How to file taxes without a W-2 form?” In this case, pay stubs can come to the rescue.

The pay stubs contain most, if not all, of the information given on the W-2 form. You are obligated to inform the IRS beforehand that you will use the last pay stub to file your annual tax returns traditionally. Also, you need to fill out the 4852-IRS form to file taxes using the pay stub traditionally.

You can get further details on how to file taxes without a W-2 from this link.

Can I get a W-2 from my employer?

Yes, you can ask to get the W-2 form from your employer. If February 1 has passed, get in touch with your company’s leadership and find out if they will provide a W-2 form to the employees. Also, confirm if the admin has your current and correct address in the file. The employer may have sent the W-2 to your previous address.

What is Form 4852?

IRS Form 4852 is an alternative to other IRS tax forms, including Form W-2, Form W-2c, and Form 1099-R. A taxpayer fills out this form if the employer fails to provide a W-2 or Form 1099. Check out this article to learn how to fill out Form 4852 without a pay stub.

When can I file my taxes for 2023?

Typically, the annual tax filing date for most Americans is April 15. However, this year, April 15 comes on Saturday. And the subsequent Monday is the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC. Hence, the final date to file taxes is April 2023. For those who are self-employed, the deadline to submit tax returns is June 15, 2023.

How to file taxes with the last pay stub on TurboTax?

TurboTax has made filing simple tax returns quick and hassle-free. Simple tax returns include taxes filed using Form 1040 without any complexity. The most recent paycheck stub can be used to supplement your tax return on the TurboTax website.

The tax experts at TurboTax go through your application before you file your tax returns, ensuring a quick, error-free, and guaranteed maximum refund. For more information, check out how to file taxes with the last pay stub on TurboTax.

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