How to Get Copies of Old W-2 Forms

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How to Get Copies of Old W-2 Forms. You may need at some point to get your hands on copies of old W-2 forms. After a number of years, this can be a difficult task. The reason for needing them may be just to keep complete records or it could be for more pressing needs like an IRS audit or state audit. There are a few ways you can get copies, but not all of them are free.

Contact your old employer as a first resort. The employer is required to keep their records of employees and wages in case of an IRS audit and for worker's compensation claims. Other benefits such as life insurance also require that they maintain these records.

File Form 4506-T with the IRS if the employer is not willing or able to supply the old W-2. They will supply a copy of the tax return filed along with the W-2s for a minimum fee. It can take up to 60 days to receive the copy of the return including all schedules and W-2s. These returns may only be available for the past six years.

Request only W-2 information using the same form. Form 4506-T gives you the option to request only the W-2 information filed by the employer for your social security number. This information is free of charge. You can also receive a transcript of your return free of charge and should receive the information in about 10 working days.