TN 18 (05-06)
RS 01403.057 Employee's Income Tax Returns - Wage Evidence
A. Policy - Employee Copy
A copy of an individual's Federal or State income tax return has substantial probative value as secondary evidence of wages (or tips) where there is no reason to doubt that it is a true and exact copy of an actual return filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the state.
However, an employee's income tax return, which does not clearly establish that the original was filed with the IRS or the state (e.g., an employee's own pencil copy), is weak secondary evidence of wages.
If the employee does not have a W-2 form to attach with their IRS Form 1040, (US Individual Income Tax Return) (e.g., the employer did not provide a W-2 or the W-2 was lost and a substitute W-2 was not received.) the wages must still be reported to the IRS with the individual’s tax return.
In lieu of Form W-2, the individual completes IRS Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4852.pdf) and attaches the Form 4852 to the Form 1040 he/she submits to the IRS.
IRS does not transmit the information provided on the Form 4852 to SSA.
The information on the Form 4852 is insufficient to use as primary evidence to post earnings to an individual’s social security record. (See RS 01403.061 if no evidence of earnings is available.)
2. If Copy of Tax Return has Weak Probative Value
You may wish to advise the employee to obtain a copy from IRS as in RS 01403.057B.
1. Tax Return Prepared by Financial Institution
If the copy of the tax return was prepared by a financial institution or tax preparing agency, accept as a true and exact copy of the actual tax return.
2. Form 4852
If the Social Security number holder (NH) contacts SSA during the lag period to request the earnings on Form 4852 be added to the Social Security earnings record:
advise the NH of the lag period per RS 01404.005 through RS 01404.018.
Inform the NH to retain copies of the Form 4852, his/her tax return for the year and any other evidence of earnings (pay stubs, etc.) in case the employer does not submit the earnings information to SSA.
Advise the NH to contact Social Security after the end of the lag period if the earnings are not on his/her Social Security statement received after the lag period.
If the NH contacts SSA about missing earnings for a pre-lag year, states he/she did not receive a Form W-2, and requests the earnings on Form 4852 be added to the social security earnings record, then:
determine the basis for the amounts shown on the Form 4852 and
If the employer is still in business, request primary evidence of earnings from the employer. (RS 01403.010 through RS 01403.044); or
If the employer is not in business or does not respond to our request, request secondary evidence of earnings such as pay stubs, bank deposit records, etc. (RS 01403.050 through RS 01403.060).
If the NH advises that the employer has declared bankruptcy, determine if a payroll agency is acting on the employer’s behalf. The payroll agency may have (erroneously) provided a completed Form 4852 to the NH in lieu of the Form W-2. The payroll agency does not submit the Forms 4852 to Social Security.
If the legality of the Form 4852 is questioned or a fraudulent attempt on the part of the part of the NH to add earnings to his/her social security record is suspected, request additional evidence of the earnings.
When a determination is made concerning the evidence presented, see RS 01404.110 through RS 01404.120 for the necessary action to either correct the earnings record or to deny the request for correction.
3. Requests for Copy of Tax Return (IRS Form 4506)
The employee may request copies directly from IRS by filing Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return) and by paying the required fee. Copies of Federal income tax returns may normally be obtained from the IRS for up to 6 years after the year of filing. The copy obtained should include a copy of all forms (1040s, W-2, 4852, etc.) submitted with the original or amended return.