The 3 Routes You Can Take to Get W2 Forms from Previous Years
Posted: May 02, 2016
This year you are so determined to file your own taxes. There are so many years that have gone by with you hiring other people to do that work for you. This is a step in the right direction. However, you are not able to find W2 forms from previous years. You probably feel like getting in touch with that tax accountant to get that work done again. The fact that you cannot get a copy of your W2 forms should not be a reason why you should not file your taxes for yourself.
There is still hope for you. The process of getting a copy of a W2 is relatively simple. It all depends on the route that you decide to take. There are basically three options available for you to get those copies that you need. These options include:
- Getting a copy from your previous employer
- Contact your employer’s payroll provider
- Contact the IRS
Ask your previous employer
This is the easiest option that is available for you. Normally, the W2 forms are not sent directly to the IRS. The employer will first send the document to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once the SSA has processed the information then they will transmit it to the IRS. As such, there will always be a copy of your W2 with your employer- most of the time. It is not only your previous employer but even your current employer; depending on which exact forms you are looking for. The tax information is normally saved in the system.
Route 2: Payroll provider
There are some employers who will not do the payroll in-office but rather use a payroll provider. In such a case, contacting your employer directly can be a bit of a problem. They will either put your issue at the bottom of their to-do list or even forget all about it. This is where the payroll provider comes in to save the day. You contact them and verify your Social Security Number (SSN) then you will get the W2.
There are some who will send you the W2 by email and others will mail it to your address. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that they have the right address attached to your SSN. Just ask them how to get past W2 and how long it will take.
Taking the IRS route
This should be the last option when the employer who issued the W2 form is (for some reason) unable to give you a copy. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and request form 4506. This is going to take a good amount of time and will need money (about $50 as service charge). The main problem with this option is that it can take a long time and minor errors like forgetting to sign or filling inaccurate information can cost you. It normally takes about 2 months for the IRS to process the information and send you the W2 form. However, it is better than doing nothing and failing to file your taxes.
Author bioMichael Robinson is tax accountant with years of experience in the field. Over the course of his career he has met people whose main problem is how to get past W2 forms. In his blog he guides his readers on various issues relating to tax filing.
Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many articles on different categories like Technology, fashion, finance, travel, health, etc. To know more about him, please his blog.