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In the last week of 2001, my wife had a working interview with a potential employer, for which she was paid $120. We have not received a W-2 for this payment and for some reason I suspect we won't. Also, it would be kind of awkward for her to call and ask if he's sending the form. My question is, can I just add this in with my reportable income and include the pay stub as proof?

Does the pay stub show the usual employee withholdings (Social Security, medicare, federal income tax, etc)? If so, I would expect to receive a W2 reporting the earnings. Since they are not required to be sent to employees until Jan 31, it is not unusual for your wife to be missing hers at this point. Give them a few more days - they might mail it on the 31st and it would take a couple of day to get through the post office to you.

If there were no withholdings, then they treated your wife as an independent contractor. Normally this would be reported on a 1099. Since the filing threshold for 1099's is $600, she might not get one. In that case, I'd report the income as miscellaneous income on your tax return.

If I was a gambling man, I'd be betting on the first situation rather than the second. Given the circumstances, I think your wife would be considered an employee, even if the employment lasted only through a working interview.

I see no reason to feel awkward about asking for a W2. It's their responsibility to report the income and deliver the W2. If they haven't, there's no reason for you to feel funny about asking them to fulfill their responsibility.

One final thought - when was the check dated? If they didn't pay her until 2002, the income is 2002 income, not 2001. Then you wouldn't be receiving anything until this time next year.

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