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Employer did not send W2. Can I sue them?

Las Vegas, NV |

Can I sue my former employer for not sending me my W2's? They took out the federal withholding, but they never gave the money to the IRS. It was a small fast food restaurant.

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Attorney answers 4


Your employer has until January 31st to issue W2s. If on February 1st, you have not received yours, follow these directions from the IRS:

This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney in your area for a one-on-one consultation before pursuing any action or making any decisions.


The deadline for sending out W2s is January 31st.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


The short answer is no. Given the circumstances you should contact the IRS to discuss the matter with them; if the IRS accepts that wages were paid and taxes were withheld, then you should get credit for those amounts, even if your ex-employer failed to actually pay the withheld amounts to the IRS.

Good luck.

My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dana@nytaxcounsel or visit my website at


No, you can't sue the former employer for not sending you a W2, especially considering your employer has until January 31st. You may be able to sue them if they really didn't send your withholding to the IRS, but if that's the case, your first call has to be to the IRS because they'll probably rain hellfire on your former employer for you.

Dana Whitney Atchley

Dana Whitney Atchley


As a general matter an employee shouldn't have to sue if the employer failed to turn withheld taxes over to the IRS; so long as the IRS is satisfied that wages were paid and that the employer had a duty to withhold, the employee gets credit for those amounts as if they had been paid over; the IRS then goes after the employer - including the owners and upper management of a corporate employer (including an LLC) hammer and tongs to collect the unpaid taxes.

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