Tax Season Resource
How to Fill Out a W-2 Form
Before you fill out your taxes, you’ll need to have your W2 in hand. Here’s what you should know about recognizing and using this important tax form.
Chime does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
What Is a W2 Form?
A W2 is basically like a pay stub for your entire year. It shows how much you were paid — and how much was withheld in taxes — from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year.
Since you’ll use it to fill out both your federal and state taxes, it’s vital the information is accurate. If you notice an error anywhere on the form, including your name, address, Social Security number, or wages, be sure to contact your employer immediately.
When Do W2s Come Out?
If you’re wondering “how to get w2 online” or “how to fill out w2,” the good news is you don’t have to do anything other than sit back and wait.
Companies send out W2 forms, either electronically or by snail mail, to any employees who earned at least $600 during the previous year. They’re required to do so by January 31 — so if you don’t get yours by early February, you should reach out and ask for another copy.
If, for some reason, your employer refuses to send one, you’ll need to contact the IRS.
5 Dos and Don’ts of Filing Taxes With a W2
Do take advantage of free services: If your income was $69,000 or below, the IRS website connects you to a variety of tax software programs that make filing free and easy.
Do file, even if you’re under the federal filing requirement: If you’re single, under 65, and earned less than $12,200, you technically don’t need to file a federal tax return. But if you had federal taxes withheld (check box 2 on your W2), it’s worth doing so, as you might be in for a lucky surprise spelled R-E-F-U-N-D. (Which you can funnel directly to your online account.)
Under both state and federal tax filing requirements? And have a zero balance, according to your tax prep software? Rosalind W. Sutch, a certified public accountant and shareholder at Drucker & Scaccetti, recommends submitting your return anyway. “It’s a way to document with the IRS that you didn’t owe any tax to avoid confusion in the future,” she says. (Since it won’t cost you anything, might as well play it safe!)
Do keep a copy: Even if you’re filing electronically, you should keep a copy of your W2 for three years. You’ll need it if you’re ever audited.
Don’t ignore it: Your employer sends a copy of your W2 to the IRS, too. So, unfortunately, you can’t stuff your W2 in a drawer and pretend you never received it. If you’re above the federal filing requirement, you need to file your taxes, whether or not you owe money. (And even if you’re below the federal filing requirement, you may still need to file a state return; check your state’s tax website for details and free filing options.)
Don’t expect one as a freelancer or gig worker: If you were an independent contractor — rather than an employee — you’ll get a 1099 form instead of a W2. Learn more about the ins and outs of self-employment taxes here.
Questions? Check out our FAQ
Or go to chime.com/taxes for more.
At Chime, we’ve created a new approach to online banking that doesn’t rely on fees2 , gets you your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit1 , and helps you grow your savings automatically. When you open a bank account through Chime, you get a Visa Debit Card® and a Checking Account that can be managed entirely from your smartphone, plus an optional Savings Account that helps you grow your savings automatically! The Chime mobile banking app is available on both Android and iOS.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
Yes, however, a tax refund may only be direct deposited into an account that is in your name. To accept a joint refund, just make sure the name of the primary filer listed on your tax refund is the exact same name listed on the Chime Checking Account you are depositing to.
Important: If the primary filer’s name doesn’t match the name on the Chime Checking Account it is being deposited to, the deposit will be rejected and returned to the IRS. No more than three electronic refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or prepaid card. If you exceed this limit, you will receive a notice from the IRS and a paper check refund.
If you recently got married or changed your name, contact Chime Member Services to update the name on your Chime Checking Account to match the name on your tax return. You’ll need your updated ID and marriage certificate for verification.
We can’t guarantee that your tax refund will deposit earlier than the estimated date provided by the IRS. That said, we’ll always post your tax refund to your account as soon as we receive it!
Direct deposit is the easiest way to deposit your tax refund into your Chime Checking Account. Whether you file online or on paper, all you need to do is enter your Chime Checking Account Number and Routing Number where prompted.
You can find your Checking Account Number and Routing Number in the Chime app! Just go to Settings > Account Information!