How to Get W-2 from Previous Employers Easily

You have two options. You can either contact your employer who may still have a copy with their pay roll department OR you can contact the IRS and request a transcript from that year. A transcript will have any information listed on a W-2 form that is needed to file a tax return.

Find your W-2 online. File your taxes faster.

Wondering how you can get a copy of your W-2 online? With H&R Block’s free W-2 Early Access℠ service, you can get your W-2 online for free and have an electronic copy sent to your local H&R Block office. All you have to do is pick it up — then get a head start on your taxes.

W-2 forms are sent out by January 31st of each year (or the next business day if the date falls on a weekend or holiday). But your refund doesn’t have to depend on how quickly your employer mails your W-2. If you want to get your W-2 online, you can request an electronic copy for free with W-2 Early Access, then get started on your taxes with Block.


What is Form W-2?

It is the document required by every employer to send to every of his employee, social security administration I.e., SSA and the IRS I.e., Internal Revenue Service on every year-end.

An employee known as a w-2 employee is known as those whose employers deduct their taxes directly from their paychecks and submit this information to the government.

The w-2 document shows the total gross wages of an employee. It can also contain other important information like deferred compensation, health saving account endowments, bonuses, tips, and dependent care welfare.

As an employer you must provide the W-2 form to an employee independent of the duration the employee worked for you, you must send out W-2 forms if you ever paid salary, any form of compensation or hourly wages to an employee.

The social security administration uses the W-2 document to calculate the employee’s social security benefits while the Internal Revenue Service uses the form to track the wage and tax obligation of every taxpayer. This document is filled out and gotten from the employer.

Option #3: Get your W-2 from the IRS.

If you only need the federal information that was reported on your W-2 (not an actual copy), then you’ll file form 4506-T to the IRS for free. For state withholding amounts, you will need to contact your state department of revenue.

The box you will need to make sure that is checked off is titled “Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series, or Form 5498 series transcript.” This alternative may be more time-consuming than reaching out to an employer. However, it requires NO hunting down of past employers to get them to spare a nano-second of their time.

How to Get Copies of Old W‐2 Forms

This article was co-authored by Cassandra Lenfert, CPA, CFP®. Cassandra Lenfert is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in Colorado. She advises clients nationwide through her tax firm, Cassandra Lenfert, CPA, LLC. With over 15 years of tax, accounting, and personal finance experience, Cassandra specializes in working with individuals and small businesses on proactive tax planning to help them keep more money to reach their goals. She received her BA in Accounting from the University of Southern Indiana in 2006.

There are several reasons why you might need to get copies of old W-2 forms. Maybe you need old W-2 copies because you are facing an audit or, more happily, if an accountant tells you that you can get money back from past taxes. You may also have encountered a situation where you are asked to provide proof of income even though you did not make enough money to file for taxes, or you may be trying to file your taxes for the previous year, and did not receive a W-2 form that you know you should have.

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If can’t get your W-2 from your previous employer: Tips

Requesting an extension will give you time to find a missing W-2 and it will also keep the IRS from penalizing your account if they find out that you filed without one.

If you need help with filing your taxes, you can submit Form 4868 to the IRS. If accepted, this form will extend the deadline for filing an income tax return by six months while still requiring that you pay what’s due.

File without a W-2: If your previous employer is no longer there or isn’t providing you with a W-2, you can submit Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement with your tax return. This will provide the necessary information to the IRS.

You can use your W-2 form after you submit a 4852 if you receive it, but we recommend confirming your estimated amount with that document. It is possible to use Form 1040X to revise Form 1040 (or vice versa) if there are any.

Your previous employer does not offer a paper option: In case if you cannot find a paper option on the company’s website or in their offices, try contacting them via phone or email and ask about this situation. You can also request a form online at IRS website

What Should I Do If My Employer Refuses To Send me My W-2?

The W-2 is a tax form that you receive from your employer during the end of the year, and it provides information on your wages, taxes withheld, and any other income.

If you have not received your W-2 by February 14th and you know for sure it means that something went wrong with the process. Don’t panic! There are a few things you can do:

How to Request Previous Employer’s W-2 for Taxes?

You can request a copy of your W-2 from your employer at any time during the year, not just during tax season. You should request a copy if you think your taxes might be incorrect or you have a significant change in wages or other income.

Why is Your Previous Employer Required to Give You a W2?

A W-2 lists how much you earned, your employer’s name, your address, the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck, any reimbursements or other information on where your money went.


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