Topic 159 - Prior Year(s) Form W-2 (How to Get a Copy)

You can now obtain prior year Forms W-2 (PDF) by using Get Transcript, an online tool that provides access for individual taxpayers with an SSN.

The IRS does not retain actual copies of Form W-2 except as an attachment to your tax return, for prior years. However, the IRS maintains (and will provide free of charge) Form W-2 information for any purpose for the past ten processing years. Use Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to request Form W-2 information. The only way to get an actual copy of your Form W-2 from the IRS is to order a copy of the entire return on Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, and pay a fee of $50.00 for each return requested.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will provide the Number Holder (NH) or legal representative(s) at no charge with a microprint copy of the Form W-2 requested for purposes of resolving an SSA program related matter; e.g., resolving an earnings discrepancy in connection with the processing of a Title II and/or Title XVI claim or an SSA or NH initiated earnings investigation.

Call 800-829-3676, or visit the IRS website at to obtain Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

Call 800-772-1213, or visit the SSA website at for instructions on how to obtain wage information from the SSA.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: October 17, 2014