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Every year around this time, I receive messages from readers who are anxious to file file their tax returns. This is especially true if they’re due a refund. And who can blame them? If you’re owed money by the government, you should try to get it back as quickly as possible.
A common question is whether or not you can file your return if you haven’t received all of your tax forms. And the short answer (assuming that you’re e-filing) is that, yes, you can. But I wouldn’t recommend it.
The reason I say this is that, while you can (probably) get the information that should be on things like your W-2 or 1099-INT from your last paycheck or you final bank statement, this info might not match what’s on your official tax form.
And no matter how such mismatches arise, they can spell trouble for you if the IRS receives different information from your employer or bank. You may wind up having to file an amended return or even dealing with an audit.
Also note that, if you’re filing a paper return, you’re expected to attach a copy of your W-2 to your return. So, in that case, you don’t have a choice but to wait.
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