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Copies & Transcripts

Question: Can I get copies of my prior year Forms W-2 from the IRS?

Answer:

Form W-2 (PDF), Wage and Tax Statement, is not sent directly to the Internal Revenue Service. Your employer first sends the documentation to the Social Security Administration. After the SSA has processed this documentation, they transmit the information to the IRS.

The quickest way to obtain a copy of a prior year Form W-2 is through your employer.  If that is not possible:

  • You can order copies of your entire return (attachments include Form W-2) from the IRS for a fee, or
  • Order Form W-2 information at no charge from the IRS as part of a transcript.
  • The IRS can provide Form W-2 information for up to 10 years.
  • Complete information for the current year is generally not available until the year after it is filed with the IRS. For example, Form W-2 information for 2012, filed in 2013, may not be available from the IRS until 2014.

To receive a copy of your return, complete and mail Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, along with the required fee.

To receive a tax return transcript, including your Form W-2 information, complete and mail or fax Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return.  You may also order a transcript online by going to the Get Transcript page, or by calling 800-908-9946.

You can expect to get a transcript, including Form W-2 information, within 5 to 10 days from the time we receive your request.  If you request a copy of your entire tax return, including Form W-2, allow 75 calendar days for us to process your request.


Category: IRS Procedures
Subcategory: Copies & Transcripts

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:T:SP
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224