Will the wrong adress on a W-2 be a problem at tax time?
January 11, 2008 3:47 PM   Subscribe

We got our W-2's today and my address is wrong. The street number and name and state is right, but the city and zipcode are wrong. When this was pointed out to the office manager, he suggested scratching out the bad address and writing in the correct one. Will this be a problem? Would having the wrong address be a problem? The office manager seemed reluctant to fix it.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Having the wrong address is not going to be a problem in terms of filing your taxes this year. It will be a problem, however, if your employer ever tries to mail you anything. Like for example, if you ever leave this job, they will have to subsequently mail your W-2 for that year to you, since you won't be there to pick it up anymore. Get the office manager to fix it now, or you'll have to do this in the future.

Why is the office manager reluctant? Does he/she not know how to change an address in the payroll system? Don't employees sometimes change addresses?
posted by Dec One at 3:56 PM on January 11, 2008

I'm pretty sure the IRS only cares that your SSN matches.

I can't imagine why this is posted anonymously. Knowing your state might help, if you use your W2 to pay state income taxes.
posted by donajo at 3:57 PM on January 11, 2008

I can't imagine why this is posted anonymously.

Perhaps anonymous is cortex and the office manager is mathowie....

Anyway, as others have pointed out, an incorrect address on a W2 will not be a problem as far as filing taxes this year (after all-- it's the same as if you had moved between now and April 15, which can't possibly be illegal...).

You will however, want to ensure that the correct address is in the company's payroll system. Is the W2 generated in-house, or is an outside payroll service used? If the latter, you may be able to call them up yourself and have it changed.
posted by dersins at 4:06 PM on January 11, 2008

Print up this document and give it to your employer. They are supposed to issue you a corrected W-2.
posted by saffry at 4:14 PM on January 11, 2008

As saffry says, your employer is supposed to issue you a corrected W-2. However, manually fixing the address should be fine. The IRS only really cares about your TIN.
posted by fvox13 at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2008

IANAA - but I do work for some. As long as the state and your SSN is correct, you're fine. I would get it changed for next year though.
posted by CwgrlUp at 6:06 PM on January 11, 2008

That IRS doc actually says that your employer only has to take one of the listed actions if your address is wrong, and simply handing the W-2 to you is acceptable. Nobody has to scratch anything out, since the IRS only needs to make sure the name, SSN, and amounts are correct.

Also, I'm guessing that your office manager doesn't want to issue a new one because the W-2s go through their payroll company, who may charge them quite a bit of money to generate a new one.

So, as everyone else says, you're fine with the documentation you have, but you should make sure that your employer and payroll company have a correct address for you for future mailings.
posted by stefanie at 6:22 PM on January 11, 2008

I agree with the consensus that the IRS is not going to care, however if your employer has reported your address to your payroll company incorrectly, you may have had, as a result, municipal taxes withheld for the wrong city or school district. You may find that it's going to incumbent upon you to do the legwork necessary to get a refund from the municipality where they have incorrectly located you and may need to file and pay out of pocket to the municipality where you actually reside. Double check on that!
posted by Dreama at 8:36 AM on January 12, 2008

Part of the W-2 that the employer fills out gets mailed to the IRS. That might be why they are reluctant to change and reissue the form.
posted by yohko at 8:18 AM on January 14, 2008

As a former IRS employee, I would like to add that the address doesn't matter. Your employer has already submitted all the W-2s to the IRS with a W-3 form (and to your state as well). In fact, if probably submitted electronically before they even give you your copy. It's linked to your SSN.

As long as you have it in your hand and can fill out your tax forms, IRS doesn't care.

If the IRS needs to get a hold of you, they have plenty of ways: phone book, internet search, credit bureau information, Choicepoint.
posted by rybreadmed at 9:17 PM on January 20, 2008

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