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Copies & Transcripts

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


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


  • The quickest way to obtain a copy of a prior year Form W-2 is through your employer.
  • If that's 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.


  • Mail or fax Form 4506-T (.pdf), Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Check the box for Form W-2 and identify the specific tax year(s) you need. Expect to receive your wage & income transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time we receive your request.
  • Wage & income transcripts are available for the past ten tax years but information for the current tax year may not be complete until July.
  • 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
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224