Have you lost your W-2? Not filed your prior year tax returns and can’t locate your tax documents? The Social Security Administration can give you copies/printouts of your Forms W-2 for any year from 1978 to the present. The IRS has the information in free electronic format for 10 years.
Per the SSA website FAQs , you can get free copies if you need them for a Social Security-related reason. However, there is a fee of $37 for each year if you need them for an unrelated reason (such as completing your income tax returns).
The Internal Revenue Service will give you a W-2 transcript for free. See IRS Prior Year W-2 info. However, the free IRS information does not include your state tax withholding information which could be needed to complete your state tax return. The IRS only retains actual copies of Form W-2 as an attachment to your tax return for prior years. So to order an actual copy of the W-2 from the IRS use Form 4506 and pay the $50 fee.
When you write to the SSA, be sure to include:
- Your Social Security number;
- The exact name shown on your Social Security card;
- Any different names shown on your W-2;
- Your complete mailing address;
- The year(s) for which you need copies;
- Your daytime telephone number; and
- The reason for your request. If you don’t have a Social Security related reason, you will owe the $37 fee for each year.
Send your request with a check or money order payable to the Social Security Administration. Please include your Social Security number on the check or money order. You also can pay with a credit card by completing Form-714. Regular credit card rules apply.
Please send your request to:
Social Security Administration
Office of Central Operations
Division of Earnings and Business Services
P.O. Box 33003
Baltimore, MD 21290-3003
By Melinda Nelson, CPA