How to Find Last Year's W-2

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Each January your employer issues W-2 statements to each employee. These forms state the amount of earnings, federal and state income tax withheld, and social security and Medicare taxes withheld. Employees use W-2 forms to file income taxes. If you need a copy of your W-2 form from last year because you lost or misplaced your form, you have a few ways to obtain a copy.

Ask your employer if the company can provide you with a copy of your W-2 form from the previous tax year. Employers keep this information on file and can have a copy made for you relatively quickly.

Check with your accountant -- if you file your income taxes with one -- to obtain a copy of your previous year's W-2 from your file. Accountants keep copies of all client tax information provided to them.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for a copy of your W-2 from the previous year. You are required to file form 4506 with the IRS to obtain copies of prior year tax returns. This form is available on the IRS website (

Complete the information on Form 4506, which includes providing your name and social security number – and the name and social security number of your spouse if the return was a joint return – and the tax year for which you need a copy of your W-2 form. Sign and date the application.

Write a check or money order payable to the United States Treasury in the amount of $57, which is the fee as of 2011 for copies of tax records from the IRS. Write your social security number and the phrase “Form 4506 request” on the bottom of your check.

Mail your application and check to the address listed on page two of Form 4506 for residents of your state.


About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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