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How to Obtain Past Year(s) W-2 Forms from the IRS

24 Jan


Some business transactions require that you show past and present proofs of income. Your old W-2s come in handy at this time because they show your wages earned and taxes paid while you were working for specific employers.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends that taxpayers keep copies of past W-2s for as long as possible. However, things happen and sometimes tax records go missingIf you’re missing W-2s from previous years, try to get copies from your respective employers. If that doesn’t work, this guide will teach you how to get old W-2s from the IRS fast.

Learn how to request past years’ Wage and Tax Statements online, by phone or by mailing your request to the IRS and keep your wage reporting on track.

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Requesting IRS Transcripts by Phone or Online

Use the “IRS Order a Transcript” application to view and print your tax transcript(s) immediately. You may also call the IRS self-service line at 1-800-908-9946 to order your transcript(s). 

If you order by phone, follow the prompts and select 3, then 1 to quickly complete your order. 

Once you get your IRS tax transcript order form, complete it, sign it and send it to the address listed in the instructions. This printout will not include W-2 or state and local information. Take into account that you cannot use the online method if you want the transcript sent to an address that is different from what the IRS has on file for you.

Give the agency 5-10 business days from the time they receive your signed request.

Requesting Transcripts of Past Tax Returns via Form 4506-T

Request a free transcript from the IRS by filling out Form 4506-T, also known as “Request for Transcript of Tax Return”. This method is effective if you want the transcript sent to a different address than what the IRS has on file for you.

Include your personal data on the form, such as name, address, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN).

Then, follow these steps when filling out the form:
1) On line 6, enter tax form number “1040.”
2) Check line 8 to ask for the transcript.
3) On line 9, put the W-2 year(s) that you need.

You may request up to four years of prior tax returns on one form. If you need more data, fill out another 4506-T form.

Mail or fax the 4506-T to the address or fax number that corresponds with your resident state. This information is included on the form.

How to Get a Copy of Old W-2  Form(s)| Form 4506

Fill out Form 4506 to request an exact copy of a previously filed and processed tax return from the IRS. This method gives you photocopies of your W-2 attachments for the tax year(s) in question.

The W-2s also include state and local information if you were subject to those types of withholdings.

You may request up to eight years of tax returns on one form. For more than 8 years, you must attach another Form 4506. At the time of publication, a fee of $50 applies to each old W-2 form you request.

Mail the form and your payment to the address listed on the 4506 form. Allow up to 75 calendar days for the IRS to process your request.

Considerations When Requesting Past Tax Returns

The IRS provides tax history and W-2 transcript information for up to 10 years and copies of tax returns for up to seven years.

W-2 data for the present year is not available until the following year after the document has been filed.

For example, for tax year 2012, your employer files your 2012 W-2 with the Social Security Administration during the first quarter of 2013. Then, the information is sent to the IRS by the end of the second quarter of 2013. You may request the form from the IRS after they receive it from the Social Security Administration.

How to Obtain W-2s from VensureHR

This year’s W-2s have been mailed and are now available online.

To obtain current and past W-2s online, go to HRP Web and click on Employee Inquires > W-2 Reprint > the year in question.

As long as payroll was processed through Vensure, past W-2s will be available online.

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