PUEBLO, Colo. - Tax time can be a frustrating time for many. One Pueblo woman was even more frustrated because she said her former employer tried to charge her to get a copy of her W-2.
Kayleigh Walley has been waiting for her W-2, so she can file her taxes. She used to work at the Sonic Drive-In on Santa Fe in Pueblo.
Walley said she filled out a W-4 and change of address form before her employment with Sonic ended. She also said she had her mail forwarded, but her W-2 never arrived.
"I contacted Sonic (on) several occasions," said Walley. "I got the run-around continuously. When I was finally able to speak with somebody they had told me that it was going to cost five dollars to reprint. I've also been told by other employees that they had to pay five dollars, which they reluctantly paid."
KRDO-TV did talk to another former Sonic employee who also never received her W-2. She declined to comment on camera. She explained that she had not moved in more than three years, so she couldn't understand why the W-2 never arrived in the mail. When she contacted Sonic, she said she was told a reprint would cost five dollars, so she paid it.
"I don't know how many employees have had this happen to them," said Walley. "It's not right."
"Holding W-2s hostage doesn't sound like something that is good for employees to me," said tax expert Tom Baltuskonis, with Jackson-Hewitt Tax Services. "Sonic has to get the W-2s to the employees by Jan. 31."
According to Baltuskonis, employees do have options if they just cannot get a W-2. All they need is their last pay stub.
"There's a form, an IRS form called a substitute W-2, and they would put all their pay information on that and use that in place of the W-2," said Baltuskonis. "(That's) if they have their last pay stub."
In the meantime, frustration was setting in for Walley.
"To a lot of people five dollars isn't a lot, but for me, a mother of two, five dollars is a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread."
Throughout the day KRDO made numerous attempts to get answers from Sonic. Late Sunday afternoon, Bryant Morrison, Sonic's Director of Operations, called to explain that the accounting office was in fact charging five dollars to reissue W-2s. He said he was putting a stop to it. He said Walley could pick up her W-2 Monday morning, and would not be charged. He added that anyone who already paid the fee can get a refund.