How to Obtain the Past Year's W2 From the IRS

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Your W-2 is provided to you by your employer. It contains information on your previous year's wages and taxes withheld. This information is necessary for you to file your tax return. Employers have until Jan. 31 to mail your W-2. Besides needing your current W-2 to file a tax return, you may need copies of past W-2 forms if your taxes were filed incorrectly, if you are audited, or if you wish to apply for a loan to purchase a home. There are two ways to obtain your W-2s for the past year from the IRS.

W-2 Transcript

Obtain Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. You can download this form from the IRS website (see Resources) or call the IRS at 800-829-3676 to request a copy of the form.

Fill in the necessary information on lines 1 through 4. This includes the names and Social Security numbers that you provided on the original tax return, your current address and the address given on the previous tax return, if different.

Enter a name, address and phone number on line 5, if you want the IRS to send the copy of your tax return to a third party.

Write the tax form number that you are requesting (most likely Form 1040) on line 6. Check the box on line 8 to request transcripts of your W-2 and 1099 forms.

Write in the year for which you are requesting W-2 forms on line 9. Sign the form and include your telephone number.

Find the IRS office that serves your state on page 2 of Form 4506-T and mail or fax the form back to the IRS at the address indicated. This option can be used to obtain copies of your W-2s filed during the past 10 tax years.

Full Tax Return with W-2s

Obtain Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, from the IRS. You can download this form from the IRS website (see Resources) or call the IRS at 800-829-3676 to request a copy of this form.

Fill in the information on lines 1 through 5, following the instructions.

Write in the tax form you are requesting on line 6. On line 7, enter the years for the W-2s you are requesting.

Specify the number of copies you are requesting on line 9. Draft a check or money order for the proper amount. Each copy is $57.

Sign the form and provide your telephone number. Enclose your payment for the proper amount, payable to “United States Treasury.” Find your location on page 2 of the form and mail your request to the address indicated.