When you work for an outside employer, that employer is responsible for reporting your wages to the Internal Revenue Service and to you. The form used to report those wages is the W-2, and you will need a W-2 form for each employer you worked for in order to file your taxes accurately. If you are missing one or more W-2 forms, you will need to get replacements before you can file your taxes. You might also need to find copies of past W-2 forms, especially if there is a discrepancy in the amount you reported or a question from the IRS.
Contact the human resources department at your employer. Ask when the W-2 was mailed. If the form was mailed more than a week or two ago, request that a new copy be sent to you.
Verify your full mailing address with the employer. The original W-2 may have been returned to the employer or lost in the mail because of an invalid or incomplete address.
Contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you do not receive the replacement W-2 form. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, the name of the employer and an estimate of the wages you earned.
Past W-2 Forms
Call the employer you worked for and request a replacement copy of your W-2. Provide your full name, address, dates of employment and Social Security number.
Contact your tax preparer if you had your taxes done by a professional. The tax preparer's office should have copies of any returns it filed on your behalf, along with copies of all backup documents, including your W-2 forms.
Check your own records for copies of past tax returns. When you file your taxes, you should make at least one, and preferably more, copies of each document you file. Keep one copy in your home and another in a safe deposit box or other off-site storage area.
- IRS: Four Steps to Follow If You Are Missing a W-2
- Internal Revenue Service. "About Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Social Security Administration. "Deadline Dates To File W-2s." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "2020 Form W-2." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Social Security Administration. “Social Security Wage Base Rises to $142,800 for 2021.” Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "Employee Reimbursements, Form W-2, Wage Inquiries." Accessed Nov. 2, 2020.
Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.