How can I get a copy of my W-2 from previous years?
Obtaining a W-2 form from past years is necessary for filing your taxes, especially if you are preparing for an audit or have been informed of possible tax refunds by an accountant. You might be asked to submit proof of your income, in case you didn’t receive a W-2 form beforehand. Did you happen to lose a prior year W-2 form? Then, there’s no need to worry. The process itself isn’t as complicated as you may think. In fact, there are three ways to request an old copy of your W-2 form.
One way to access your W-2 form is to call the payroll department of your former employer, who is responsible for keeping records of tax information. You can ask them to send you the W-2 record. Current employers also have your W-2 input into the system, as indicated by the tax season. Do you know your employer’s payroll provider? Give them a call to inquire about mailing a W-2 to your home. Remember to verify your name, address, W-2 year, and social security number, to help them identify your W-2 on file.
Employers do sometimes forget to send a copy of past W-2 forms since they aren’t very high on the boss’s priority list. Another option is to contact your tax preparer by phone or email. Let them know the year of the W-2 form you want so they can send it to your address. The tax preparer is able to estimate how many weeks it takes for your W-2 to deliver. Don’t wait too long to fill out your prior year tax return.
If all else fails, you’ll have to request a W-2 copy from the IRS based on the type of information you need. Their “Get Transcript” tool allows you to obtain W-2 forms under 10 years old. It is completely free. Use form 4506 to get a W-2 that contains additional information. Try form 4506-T if you want just the records on your W-2 and not the whole thing.