I haven't received a form I need to file my taxes, and it's now April 15th
If you haven't received a form you need to file your taxes (a W-2, for example) by the April 15th deadline, you have one of the following two choices:
- Extend Before April 15th, File Later. You have the option of extending your return before April 15th, and filing the return when you receive your missing form.
- Pros. You only need to file your return once.
- Cons. If you have a refund coming, you will have to wait until you file the return to get the refund. If on the other hand, you owe money (after including an estimate of your missing income in your calculations), you will need to pay the amount you owe with your extension.
- File Before April 15th, Amend Later. You have the option filing your return before April 15th, and amending the return when you receive your missing form.
- Pros. You will get your refund sooner, assuming you have a refund coming.
- Cons. You need to file what amounts to two returns, the original return and the amended return. Plus you need to make sure you do not owe tax when you file the amended return. Otherwise, you will owe penalties and interest.
Important: Note that under either of the two options above, you need to make a conservative (meaning high) estimate of the income coming from your missing form. In other words, you want to make sure you have a refund coming, whether you file your original return later, or the amended return later. Otherwise, you may owe penalties and interest.