how to get a w2 from an old job

How To Get A W2 From An Old Job

It could be challenging getting your W-2 from an old job if you switch to a new one, but following this guide on how to get a W2 from an old job will make the process seamless.


In the United States, the law mandates employers to furnish their employees with W-2 forms by January 31st of every year to enable them to do the necessary filling and avoid penalties. However, you must be proactive if you switch to a new job before this date to get the W2 from your old job.

Let’s take you through the various to get a W2 from your old job quickly.

how to get a w2 from an old job

Tips On How To Get A W2 From An Old Job

You can get your W2 form from your old job in three ways, which will be explained in detail. But before that, let’s take you through what a W2 form is and why it is essential.

What is W2 Form?

It is a tax form issued by the Internal Revenue Service to employers in the United States to report all wages or salaries paid to each employee, including the total tax deduction made for the year.

This form is crucial for every employee because you can’t file taxes or write a check to claim compensation or a refund without it. It also provides details of your tax deductions, payment to health insurance, contribution to a retirement plan, and dependent care benefits you receive yearly.


Now you can see how crucial W2 is to an employee’s life in the United States. So let’s dive in real quick into ways to get your W2 form from your old job.

#1. Check out your official email

First, you should check your official email with your formal employer because some organizations send the form electronically for the employees to download and fill out. You could also check other official organizational communication channels if you could find them there.

#2. Contact Your Past Employer

You should contact the payroll officer of your former employer if option one did not work and request that the form be sent to your updated email or contact address. You can choose to do this via phone call or email address.

#3. Visit or call the Internal Revenue Service

Another great option you can explore is to put a call to IRS or visit their official website and lodge your complaint. You should also provide your previous company’s Employer Identification Number. The IRS will use this detail to remind your formal employer to prompt action.

Read Also: What happens to your 401K when you leave a job


#4. Use Form 4852

If all the options above prove abortive, file form 4852 as your last resort. This form is a substitute for W-2, wage, and tax statements. You must ensure the information on Form 4852 is accurate and recent to avoid disputes with the Internal revenue services.


Do employers have a minimum duration to keep the record of the W2 form?

Employers can hold the W-2 form of an employee for at least four years, and after this period, they are not at liberty to issue you the form.

How Do I get a copy of my W2 fast?

The fastest way to get the W2 form is through your employer. This will be much faster if you establish a good relationship with the employer while still a staff member.

Can I request a W-2 from a one-time employer electronically?

Yes, you can request that the form be sent electronically. Most employers prefer sending it electronically cos it is easier and faster.


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