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Who is financialy responsible if the employers w2 amount was off by hundreds of dollars, causing a tax amendment .

San Bernardino, CA |

My job did not include the last pay period of the year on my 2009 W2's. On 4/15/10 they brought this to my attention. They suggested that the new book keeper would amend my tax files free of charge. My husband & I wanted to have them amended by our tax preparer , however there price is $150 . We just don’t feel comfortable having anyone else doing my taxes .. Now they are suggesting that I would have to pay for the amendment if I want to go outside of there book keeper. Because it was my employers mistake on the w2's, who is leagally responsible for what portion of charges & penalties if any ?

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Attorney answers 3


W2s often have errors, the proper method is simply to issue a new W2 and then you amend your taxes accordingly. The question is who you use. I am not aware of any law that would require your employer to pay for you private employer to do so. Of course, with the price being only $150, there is only some much time you should commit to this issue.

Please note that this answer is not legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Each state has different state laws and procedures. A review of all documents and a consultation at a minimum is necessary to render effective legal advice. This answer does not create an attorney client relationship. Consult an attorney before you decide on a course of action.


Employers are required by federal tax law to submit W-2 reports to the IRS and employee. If they make a mistake, they are required to amend the report and submit corrected W-2s. While federal law prohibits an employer from filing false reports intentionally, it must be show that they intended harm before attorney fees and damages can be collected. If you are assessed a penalty by the IRS for failing to properly report your income, the IRS will probably abate the penalty if you explain the circumstances and give them copies of both W-2s. A letter from your employer would help.

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W-2's, 1099's, and various tax documents often contain errors. In fact, it is common for some brokerage houses to amend their statements numerous times each year. It is the responsibility of the entity that issues these statements and forms to provide you with the correct form, and to amend them if there is an error. It is your responsibility to report the correct amount on your tax return. The form you receive is for information purposes. There is no financial responsibility that I know of to pay for you to correct your tax return due to an amended return. Unfortunately, that is your responsibility. In the future, I would check the W-2 you receive to make sure it is correct before you file your return. You can compare it to the checks you have received and also your final check stub for the year. You should always review any tax documents you receive to determine that they are correct.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.