What happens if I don't file one of my W2s?
The IRS will "fix" your return and charge you penalties and interest
Twila: what will happen is
what will happen is: the IRS may send a letter telling you that you need to file an amended return, including ALL W2's , bank info, any 401k or IRA's etc......OR they can send a letter telling you that you will be audited...........OR...........you need to be wise and not try to cheat the IRS !!
Yes, it's a problem. You have to claim all your income. Don't look at the refund after each W2. It means nothing until your return is finished. If you leave it off, the IRS will be after you in a year or so to pay back the amount you fraudulently claimed plus penalty and interest.
It will absolutely be a problem. Your total tax bill and your refund are calculated based on ALL of your information. ALL of your W-2s. You are filing a false return and claiming a refund you are not entitled to if you don't report ALL of your income. If you were paid that higher amount, and you might because the IRS verifies W-2 info with Social Security at a later date and initially goes by what you tell them, they WILL catch up with you. You will have to pay back what you didn't deserve, with interest, and probably a penalty for filing a false return. When they catch it, they will send you a letter along with a bill for what you owe. You will be required to file an amended return to include all W-2s.
The IRS gets a copy of all W2s. If you don't report all your income, the IRS will accept your return and send you a refund. Much later when they've had time to sort all the documents they receive and double-check your work, they will send you a bill for that tax money back plus interest and a late fee. By the way, the reason entering either one of your W2's gives you a higher refund than entering both together is that tax is not a fixed percentage of your income. The tax on the second $10k you earn is higher than the tax on the first $10k you earned, and the tax on the next $10k is even higher, and so on. So when you enter only half your income into the tax software, it calculates a very low tax rate, but when you enter the second W2, it calculates a higher tax rate. It does not matter which order you enter the numbers in.
Pascal the Gambler
You end up getting caught and paying the money back plus interest and penalties and can be charged with tax fraud. You legally MUST report ALL your income, and the IRS gets copies of those W2's, so they know when you left one out.
You are in violation of the law
IRS will send you a bill for the tax you owe on it.
Yes, it will be a problem. If the government realizes that you did it on purpose, then they could try to send you to prison for tax fraud. More realistically, they will think that it was an honest mistake and penalize you a lot of money, but will not incarcerate you. Either way, it is a bad idea. You will not get more money. You will get less, or none, depending on how much the penalties are.
Of course it will be a problem. For you. The IRS, who got a copy of that W2 you "deleted", will notice that you didn't include it in your filing, meaning that you under-reported your income. They will contact you so that you can pay what you owe, plus penalties and interest. For your own sake, file your taxes correctly.
In about a year, the IRS runs a matching program to see if you reported all of your income. When the computer sees that you failed to put in both W-2s, it will rerun your tax return, figure out that your refund was larger than it should have been and will send you a bill, plus penalties and interest. UPDATE: The computer can match to a penny. You can bet it will catch $4000.