How to Get W2 From the Previous Employer?

How to Get W2 from the Previous Employer? When filing your annual taxes, a W-2 form is necessary. Each year, companies send all employees W-2s containing information about their earnings and taxes from the previous year.

Even if you have changed jobs in the past year, you must still obtain a W-2 from your former employer to file your taxes properly. This article describes how to obtain your W-2 from a previous employer and provides tips if you have not yet received it.

What is the purpose of getting a W-2 from your former employer?

To file your taxes, you need a W-2, also known as a Wage and Tax Statement, from your previous employer if you changed jobs in the past year. This form tells you whether you owe taxes or if you can expect a refund. This form includes information such as:

  • How much money did you earn at that company in the past year
  • Amount of federal, state, Social Security, and Medicare taxes withheld from your earnings
  • Your annual contributions to your retirement fund
  • Employer contribution to your health care
  • Amount of dependent care benefits you received

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires companies to send W-2 forms to all employees who earned more than $600 during the past year.

How to obtain a W-2 from your former employer

Before the end of January, the IRS requires your former employer to mail you a copy of your W-2. By the first few weeks of the year, if your W-2 has not arrived yet or you have misplaced it, you might have to take action to avoid penalties. To ensure you receive your W-2 on time, follow these simple steps:

Check the date

Pay attention to the calendar to determine when you should intervene. Your former employer has until Jan. 31 to mail your W-2. It may not arrive until the first week of February. You should receive your W-2 by Feb. 14 at the latest, according to the IRS.

Change your address if you moved

If your address has changed since you left your former employer, be sure to fill out a change of address form at your local United States Post Office. USPS typically takes seven to ten days to process your request and mail will arrive at your new address after you submit this form. When you forget to fill out this form when moving, mail sent to your previous address will not get forwarded to your new address, and the Postal Service might return your W-2 to your former employer.

Search your email

You might have elected to receive paperless tax statements, or your former employer might prefer to send tax documents digitally. Look in your inbox and spam folder for an email indicating your tax documents are ready. Usually, this notice will include a link to a secure online platform where you can access and download important files such as your W-2.

Contact your former employer

If by the end of January you have not received your W-2, you should contact your previous employer. Contact the human resources department of the company you worked for to inquire about the status of your W-2 and to confirm your mailing address. The form may have been mailed, but it got lost in the mail or delivered to the wrong address. Contact your former manager if the company does not have an HR department. Ask to pick up your W-2 in person to save time.

Contact the payroll administrator

When you worked for a company that used a third-party provider to handle payroll, contact the payroll administrator. Make sure you confirm the address they have on file for you, and ask them to send a replacement copy if they mailed the form but it hasn’t arrived.

Contact the IRS

In the event that you cannot contact your former employer, they do not respond to your request, or you have not received your W-2 by Feb. 14, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040. The company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) can be found on your old pay stubs or your W-2 from the previous year. Additionally, you might need to provide your contact information and Social Security number, the employer’s contact information, and the dates you worked for the employer. Your former employer is then reminded to mail your W-2 by the IRS.

If you prefer to handle tax communications in person, you may schedule an appointment at your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. Please bring the necessary information with you, including the company’s EIN, to speed up the process.


Q: What do you dop with a W-2 form?

A: The W-2 form is a form that you can get from your employer that holds the important information of your finances, for example; how much have you earned from your employer, how much is withheld and what benefits have you been given by the employer. All this information is necessary to file your state and federal state taxes.

Q: What if I can’t get my W-2 form from the employer?

A: If you need to file taxes and you are in a hurry to get a W-2 form then you can also use a Form 4852 which hold enough information to be a substitute to W-2 form. You can rely on this while your W-2 is getting processed to file your taxes.

Q: What if for some reason you can’t contact your employer?

A: If you can’t get in contact with your employer then you have an option to contact your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centre (TAC) and they can easily help you estimate your withheld federal taxes by using your social security number and your name.

Q: How long should I wait for my W-2 form?

A: All the employer are obligated to send the forms every January 31st. although if you still haven’t gotten it then check out if it is a weekend on 31st or you can reach out to them if they are late.

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