04/02/2013 02:33 pm ET

Lost W-2? Here's What To Do If You Need A New Form

Form W-2 is one of the most essential pieces of paper when filing your taxes. If you've lost a W-2 -- or if you never got one in the first place -- there are a few things you can do, but you better act quick.

Your employer is supposed to send a W-2 to both you and the Internal Revenue Service. The form reports how much you earned and the amount of taxes witheld from your paycheck.

At this point, go ahead and contact the IRS. The IRS advises you to reach out if you haven't received the form by February 14. You should also contact your employer and ask them to issue you a W-2, or replace the one you lost.

If you run out of time, you can file your taxes using a Form 4852, estimating your income and witholding taxes yourself. If you get a W-2 after the tax deadline you can file an amended return.

You can contact the IRS about missing W2s at 800-829-1040. Remember to provide your name, address, Social Security number and phone number, as well as your employer's contact information, the dates you worked there and your estimated wages and income tax witheld.

Remember: Tax Day 2013 -- the deadline to file your 2012 taxes -- is Monday April 15, 2013. Failure to file your taxes on time can impact your credit score, lead to repossession or even criminal prosecution. If you need an extension, file this form by April 15.

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