Switched Job? Find Out How To Request A W-2 From A Previous Employer

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Did you recently switch to a new job? According to Forbes, there are many reasons why it's good to change jobs every three to five years. People who change jobs more often become very good at internal consulting skills and at branding themselves. But before you get too excited about the new skills you will learn and new people you will meet at your new job, you can't forget about one important thing - your W-2.
Here, we'll show you how to request a W-2 from your previous employer.

Why Request a W-2?

Before we get to the steps on how you can get a W-2 from your previous employer, let's talk a bit about the importance of this document. The IRS states that all employers must file a Form W-2 or Wage and Tax Statement for each employee. For an employee, this document will determine if he or she will get a refund or write a check in April. Basically, you can't do your taxes without a W-2.
However, it's not just about your earnings. Your W-2 details your contributions to your retirement plan. It also tells you the amount your employer paid for your health insurance and even the money you got in dependent care benefits.

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Steps to Request a W2

Now that you know how important this document is, you need to make sure you get it on time. That means the first week of February.

1. Check with Payroll

Like asking for your pay stubs, you can get your W-2 by calling or sending an e-mail to your payroll administrator. Check if they have your mailing address right. If they tell you that they have already mailed it, don't forget to ask when they did it so you can ask for a replacement if needed.

2. Call the IRS

Do this if your previous employer isn't answering your calls and emails. To make it easier for the IRS, give them your previous company's Employer Identification Number. You can find this in your last pay stub or last year's W-2 if you received one from the company. The IRS will then send a reminder notice to your previous employer. File Your Taxes No Matter What

If you still haven't received your W-2 even after following the steps we've listed, you should still file your taxes. You can use form 4852 as a substitute for your W-2 or you can request an extension. There are instructions on the IRS website for filing form 4852. You should also attach all the W-2 you receive in case you get multiple copies. If you receive your W-2 after filing form 4852, double-check that the amounts on both forms match. Otherwise, you have to file form 1040x so you can correct the information on your tax return.

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Looking for a straightforward platform to do the job for you? Our W-2 generator creates your form in 2 minutes! You can also create paystubs with the online paystub maker.


Frequently Asked Questions

While it's best to have a W-2 to ensure accurate tax filing, you can still file your taxes without it. You'll need to use IRS Form 4852 as a substitute, estimating your income and taxes withheld based on your pay stubs or other records. However, this may increase the risk of errors and delays in processing your tax return.

Yes, many employers offer an electronic W-2 delivery option. You can request it by contacting your previous employer's Human Resources or Payroll department and providing your email address or accessing an online employee portal, if available.

To request a W-2 from a previous employer, contact their Human Resources or Payroll department. Provide your full name, Social Security Number, and the year for which you need the W-2. You may also be asked to provide a mailing address or email address for sending the form.

Employers are required to keep W-2 records for a minimum of four years. If you need a W-2 from more than four years ago, they may not have it, but you can still request it in case they have maintained the records.

If you have multiple W-2s from different employers, you'll need to combine the information from all forms when filing your taxes. This includes the total income earned and taxes withheld from all employers. Ensure you have all necessary W-2s before filing your tax return to avoid errors.

If your previous employer refuses to provide a W-2 or doesn't respond to your request, you can contact the IRS for assistance. Provide the IRS with your personal information and details about your previous employer. The IRS will then contact the employer on your behalf.

If you receive an incorrect W-2, contact your previous employer and request a corrected W-2 (known as a W-2c). Provide them with the necessary information to make the corrections and ensure they send you the updated form.

A W-2 form is an official document provided by employers to their employees, which states the total income earned, taxes withheld, and additional deductions during a calendar year. This form is essential for filing accurate income tax returns.

Employers are legally required to send W-2 forms to their employees by January 31st of the following year. If you haven't received your W-2 by mid-February, you should contact your previous employer to request it.

When filing your taxes, you'll need to report all income earned during the tax year, including from previous employers. A W-2 from your previous employer will provide the necessary information to accurately report your income and taxes withheld.
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Switched Job? Find Out How To Request A W-2 From A Previous Employer
Samantha Clark

A Warrington College of Business graduate, Samantha handles all client relations with our top-tier partners. Read More

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