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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 federal information to the IRS.

Copy:

  • 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. To receive a copy of your return, complete and mail Form 4506 (.pdf), Request for Copy of Tax Return, along with the required fee. Allow 75 calendar days for us to process your request.

Transcript:

  • To view and print a computer transcript of your Form W-2 information as well as other transcripts at no charge, use the Get Transcript tool on the IRS website and request a "Wage & Income Transcript."
  • If you are unable to receive your Form W-2 transcript using the online tool, mail or fax Form 4506-T (.pdf), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or call 800-908-9946. Expect to receive your Wage & Income transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time we receive your request.
  • The IRS can provide Form W-2 information for up to 10 years.
  • Current year information is generally not available until the year after it is filed with the IRS. For example, Form W-2 information for 2013 filed in 2014, may not be available from the IRS until 2015.
  • Please note that a Wage & Income transcript only includes federal information; it does not include state or local information.

See Topic 159 for additional information.


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