How to Get W2 from Previous Employer

Accurately and timely completing your income taxes requires obtaining your W-2 form from a prior employment. The Wage and Tax Statement, or W-2 form, offers comprehensive details about your income and the taxes withheld throughout the tax year. Getting this document is crucial if you have moved employment or are no longer employed by your previous employer. This is a thorough guide explaining how to obtain your W-2 from a previous job.

Await the Mail

Overview: By January 31st of every year, employers are mandated by law to provide W-2 forms to their workers.

Next Steps:

  • Wait patiently for your W-2 to come in the mail.
  • Verify that the mailing address your former employer has on file is accurate.

Speak with the HR or Payroll Department

Overview: It’s time to get in touch with your former employer personally if, by mid-February, you still haven’t gotten your W-2.

Next Steps:

  • Contact the HR or payroll division via phone or email.
  • Verify your current mailing address and request a resend of the W-2 if needed.

Get in to the Payroll System of the Employer

Overview: Using their payroll systems, some firms offer electronic access to W-2 forms.

Next Steps:

  • If it is available, sign in to the payroll system of your previous job.
  • Get your W-2 from the system and print it out.

Consult a Third-Party Payroll Supplier to Make Sure

Overview: W-2 distribution may be handled by third-party payroll services that some firms use.

Next Steps:

  • Make direct contact with the third-party payroll supplier.
  • Find out how you go about getting your W-2.

Make a Duplicate W-2 Request

Overview: You can ask for a duplicate W-2 if your employer doesn’t reply or if there’s a problem with the first one.

Next Steps:

  • Send a formal request to the payroll or HR division of your company.
  • In your request, please provide your name, Social Security number, and the tax year.

IRS Support

Overview: In the event that everything else fails, you can get the information you need to file your taxes with the IRS.

Next Steps:

  • Give the IRS a call at 1-800-829-1040.
  • Give specifics about your prior employment and your personal details.

If Required, Submit an Extension

Overview: You should think about requesting an extension if you can’t get your W-2 before the deadline for paying taxes.

Next Steps:

  • To obtain an automatic extension, submit Form 4868.
  • Estimate your income and the amount of taxes you owe.

Replacement Form for Absent W-2

Overview: In severe circumstances, IRS Form 4852 may be used in place of your W-2.

Next Steps:

  • Fill out Form 4852 with your projected income and tax details.
  • Send the form to the IRS with your tax return attached.


In conclusion, it could take some time and proactive communication to get your W-2 from a former employer. To make sure you have the paperwork needed for an accurate and timely tax filing, you must take the necessary actions as described in this guidance. If everything else fails, don’t forget to get in touch with the IRS, and if you run into difficulties along the way, think about consulting a specialist.