2021 W-2s and protecting your personal information

Here's what you need to know as you prepare to file with the IRS

At the time of year when preparing to file 2021 income taxes becomes top of mind, faculty and staff are being reminded of how to obtain their W-2 forms and of scams they should be aware of.

In an email sent today, Julia Buick, senior director of tax and assistant controller for Johns Hopkins University, and Branville Bard, vice president for public safety for the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine, outlined the pertinent points:

Electronic 2021 W-2s now available in Employee Self Service

For those employees who consented to receive their W-2s electronically, W-2s for calendar year 2021 are now available in Employee Self Service (ESS), which can be accessed from the myJH portal under the HR tab in the center of the page, or by going to and signing in after clicking the blue "Login to ESS" button on the top. For employees who opted to receive their 2021 W-2 only electronically, this will be their only means of W-2 delivery.

If you did not choose the online only delivery option, printed W-2 forms are now being processed and are expected to be mailed no later than Jan. 25.

Employees who did not originally consent to view their 2021 W-2s electronically will have a chance to opt in for 2022 and beyond, beginning Feb. 1. Once you opt in, you will immediately be able to access your W-2s in ESS and will receive only electronic W-2s going forward until you revoke or change your election.

For more information about accessing your 2021 W-2, visit the W-2 forms information webpage. For any issues or questions regarding your W-2 form, contact Payroll Shared Services at 443-997-5828.

Be aware of scams

To avoid being the victim of scams involving W-2s, tax filing, and your personal financial information, be aware of the following:

  • Consider filing your taxes as early as possible because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows only one tax return per individual per year. If you file early, any subsequent fraudulent filings will likely fail.
  • The IRS will not call or email you to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill. If a collection agency is used (only after several notices have been mailed by the IRS), its representatives will not identify themselves as IRS agents.
  • The IRS will not demand a specific type of payment method. For instance, the IRS would not demand that a payment be made with a prepaid debit card, gift card, or by wire transfer.
  • The IRS will not request payment to a third party. All legitimate federal tax payments are made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
  • The IRS will not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS will not threaten to have taxpayers immediately arrested.

The IRS takes scams very seriously and has many resources available on its website to help taxpayers. You can visit the IRS and other government websites for the most up-to-date information.

If you are notified that your information may have been exposed in a data breach, you may consider notifying the IRS through its website at or contacting the Federal Trade Commission through its website at The IRS and FTC sites have excellent guidance regarding credit reports, fraud alerts, and credit freezes, among other resources.

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