Tax Topic 159 – Prior Years Form W-2 (How to Get a Copy of your previous year Transcript)

Prior Year w-2 and transcript information. Tax Topic 159.

The IRS only retains actual copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, as an attachment to your tax return for prior years. The only way to get an actual copy of your Form W-2 from the IRS is to order a copy of the entire return by using Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and paying a fee of $50.00 for each return requested. how to get a copy of prior years w-2.

As an alternative, we make available via our Get Transcript online tool, a “Wage and Income Transcript” you can view or print free of charge. It shows the data reported to the IRS on information returns such as Form W-2s, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series and Form 5498 series; however, state or local information is not included with the Form W-2 information. These transcripts are available for the past ten tax years but information for the current tax year may not be complete until July. You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) and other personal information to verify your identity and use the system. You can also use Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to request a wage and income transcript.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides at no charge the Number Holder (NH) or legal representative(s) a microprint copy of the Form W-2 to resolve an SSA program related matter; for example, an earnings discrepancy in connection with the processing of a Title II and/or Title XVI claim or an SSA or NH initiated earnings investigation. Call 800-772-1213 or visit for instructions on how to obtain wage information from the SSA.

how to get a copy of prior years taxeshow to get a copy of prior years taxes

How to get a copy of prior years w-2.

Get a copy of my transcript.

Get Your IRS Transcript

You can get a transcript online or by mail to view your tax account transactions, line-by-line tax return information or wage and income reported to us for a specific tax year. The method you used to file your return and whether you have a refund or balance due, affects your current year transcript availability. Note: If you need a photocopy of your return, you must use Form 4506.

  • To use Get Transcript Online, you must have a Social Security number (SSN) and immediate access to your email account to confirm your email address. Then you’ll need to answer personal, financial and tax related questions to verify your identity. If you previously registered, just log in with your user ID and password.
  • To use Get Transcript by Mail, you need your SSN or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), date of birth, and address from your latest tax return.
    • Transcripts ready to view, print, or download immediately*
    •  Transcript types available online
    •  Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
      • Transcripts arrive in 5 to 10 calendar days at the address we have on file for you
      • Transcript types available by mail
      • Get Transcript by Mail en Español

      * The IRS never sends email requesting you to obtain, upload or access your transcripts. If you receive such an email, please forward it to our fraud group at [email protected].