If you didn’t get a W-2 form (IRS “Wage and Tax Statement”) from your employer, or if you have lost your form, you can request a duplicate. Whether you need a copy to file your tax return, or you simply want a duplicate for your records, the quickest and easiest route is to head to your employee’s Human Resources office. If you’re no longer working for the company, the second quickest way to request a duplicate W-2 is to pick up the phone and contact your former employer.
Your Employer's Deadline
Most employees receive their W-2s some time in January, but employers are not required to furnish these forms until the IRS-imposed deadline of January 31. Your employer may choose to give W-2s directly to employees at the workplace to ensure their receipt, but if he mails these forms, allow the U.S. Postal Service time to deliver them to you during the first week in February. If the second week of February rolls around and you still haven't received your W-2, ask your employer to give you a duplicate photocopy. If that doesn't work, you can contact the IRS and request its intervention.
Can I Request a Duplicate W-2 from the IRS?
The IRS only provides duplicate copies of W-2s that taxpayers have already submitted with their paper tax returns. If you submit IRS Form 4506, “Request for Copy of a Tax Return” for a paper return that’s already been filed, and include payment of $50, the IRS will send you a duplicate copy of your return, which includes any copies of W-2s you attached to it.
If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, and you don't have a copy of your W-2, call the IRS after February 15 at 800-829-1040, and it will contact your employer who will issue you a duplicate W-2. When you call the IRS, have this information on hand:
- Your name, address, phone number and Social Security Number
- Your former employer’s name, address and phone number
- Your dates of employment
- Your estimated yearly tax that was withheld, which you’ll find on your final pay stub
Video of the Day
Brought to you by Sapling
How to Get a Duplicate W-2 from the SSA
When employers send W-2s to their employees, they also send copies to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you need a duplicate W-2 for a reason related to Social Security, the SSA will provide it to you for free. But if you need a duplicate for tax-filing purposes, the SSA will charge a fee of $86.
You Still Need to File Your Tax Return
If you haven't received your duplicate W-2 by the tax filing deadline, you're not excused from filing your return. Complete IRS Form 4852, "Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement," and attach it to your return. You'll estimate your missing W-2 information on this form so you can meet the filing deadline. If you'd rather file for an extension while you wait for your duplicate W-2 to arrive, submit IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” You can find these forms on the IRS website at IRS.gov.
- IRS: Publication 17; How Do I Prepare My Return?
- IRS: Transcript or Copy of W-2
- IRS: Form 4506, "Request for Copy of Tax Return"
- Social Security Administration: How Can I Get a Copy of My Wage and Tax Statements (Form W-2)?
- IRS: Form 4852, "Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement"
- IRS: Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return
- IRS: Missing Form W-2? IRS Can Help
- David Woolley/Digital Vision/Getty Images