How to Request a Copy of My W-2 Tax Returns
All taxpayers who were classified as employees of any kind during the year must report the income that is shown on their W-2 Forms. This form is mailed to all employees during tax season so that they can file their taxes. Independent contractors do not receive this form.
- Give your employer at least a couple of months after the end of the year to mail you your W-2 form. If you have not received it by then, contact your employer and ask if your form has been sent yet. Your employer may also schedule a later date, such as March 15, to send out its W-2s.
- Contact your manager or HR department if you have received your forms and lost them. They can reissue you copies of your W-2 forms and mail them to you. However, you may not get them until after April 15, thus requiring you to file for an extension on your return with the IRS.
- Log on to your employer’s website if they have one and download your W-2s from the site if they are available. You may need to enter a user ID and password in order to access your forms.
- Contact the IRS to request copies of past W-2s for tax returns from previous years. The agency will have the information from your W-2s on file, but not a copy of the form itself.
- Create a substitute W-2 if you are unable to obtain a copy of your original form from your employer. The IRS will accept this as legitimate; however, you will not get a rapid tax refund if you do this.