Suppose an employer overpaid and withheld the correct amount for all items with respect to that (overpaid) amount for this year. If the adjustment occurs after December 31st and a few days into next year, can the employer modify W-2 for this year after the December 31st and a few days into next year for filing the tax return for this (not next) year?

  • 2
    Did they actually withhold the wrong amount, or just report it incorrectly on the form? Also, what is the underlying question? "Easily" is somewhat subjective.
    – JohnFx
    Dec 31, 2021 at 17:03
  • @JohnFx: I just edited the question. Is it clearer now?
    – Hans
    Dec 31, 2021 at 17:34
  • 1
    Still very unclear what happened. Was the "wrong amount" high or low?
    – nobody
    Dec 31, 2021 at 17:58
  • 2
    And was the withholding wrong for the pay, or was the pay amount wrong but the withholding correct for the actual pay?
    – nobody
    Dec 31, 2021 at 18:05
  • 1
    Is this withholding for income tax? or Social Security/Medicare tax?
    – user102008
    Dec 31, 2021 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


The big question is can the change be made in time to send the correct amount of money to the IRS and/or state taxing authority.

The amounts on the W-2 reflect what was paid as income, and what tax deductions were made. It also includes information regarding other things such Social Security, 401(k), and group life insurance.

If the error is that the numbers on the W-2 don't match what was withheld and shown on the last paycheck of the year it should be fixed.

If the error was that they sent the money to your old state, and not your new state then that is harder to correct. The problem is that all the funds withheld by the employer are sent to the proper federal and state taxing authorities on a regular schedule. The states want tax forms before sending you a refund.

The correct amounts on the W-2 only determine what your refunds will be or if you owe in April. If the amounts were severely under-withheld there can be interest and penalties.

  • I just edited the question to clarify it. Would you be so kind as to edit your answer accordingly?
    – Hans
    Dec 31, 2021 at 18:53
  • It will depend on is there time to make the fix before they send in the money. Once it is sent to the taxing authority there is no easy way to get it back. Dec 31, 2021 at 19:28

Generally, yes - this is called a corrected W2, has a form number of W-2C and the deadline for it is January 31st. I’m sure there are conditions and limitations for it, but I haven’t Googled the details. I got one myself a few years back.

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