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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Wait to receive your W-2 form or other income statements to file your tax return

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) wants to help you avoid common tax processing or refund delivery delays this season. One way is to wait until you’ve received all of your final wage and income statements, such as Forms W-2 or 1099.


Your final income statement may include amounts that weren’t included in a regular pay statement. Those differences may include end of the year payroll adjustments, bonuses, or tips.

If your figures don’t match during IRS cross-checks, your return could be delayed. See below for details on how that works.

hand holding a letter



IRS cross-checks these income amounts

The IRS checks the income amounts you claim on you return against the forms and information filed by others, like employers. This can include wages, interest, stocks, and other income related amounts. The IRS uses information matching to strengthen security reviews that help protect against identity theft and refund fraud. This process can take time and depends on the payers filing these forms timely.

During this cross-check process, if IRS records don’t match what you report on your tax return, they could stop processing the return to resolve the discrepancy – thus delaying the return and any associate refund due you. That’s why it is so critical that you wait until you receive final year-end income related documents before filing, so there won’t be any discrepancies.

Avoid having to amend your tax return

Amending your tax return after filing your taxes to report additional income missed on your original return, if you forgot something or didn’t enter the correct amount, is no easy task and can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks or more to process. So, it really is worth waiting to file until all final income documents are received to avoid having to file an amended tax return.

Didn’t receive an income-related form?

Your employer and educational institutions have until January 31, 2023, to send your W-2, Form 1098-T, and other income forms. Some exceptions to this rule may apply. The due date for other forms such as Forms 1099-B, 1099-S, and 1099-MISC (if amounts are reported in box 8 or 14) is generally February 18, 2023.

Please note that different due dates may apply to other forms and versions of the Form 1099.

Follow these other tax filing tips

If you prepare your own tax return using software or on paper, take a look at these tips to avoid common federal tax filing errors that will help you avoid most processing delays. You can also watch our short video.

Keep this handout nearby as you are completing your tax return.

You can also visit our TAS Tax Tips page throughout the tax filing season to see updated information as it is released.

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