How Can I Get My W-2 Form Without Asking My Ex Employer?

If you have changed your job in the past year, you still need to get a W-2 form to properly file your tax return. 

This article describes how to get a W-2 form without asking a previous employer, and gives tips if you haven’t already received one.

Access to your W2 form can be obtained through various means. Continue reading if you need to find out how you can get your W2 form without asking your ex-employer.

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What Is A W-2 Form?

W-2 forms are also referred to as wage and tax statement forms. A W-2 employee’s wage and tax statement form reflects his/her earned income or annual wages and the taxes withheld from the previous year. 

The W-2 form also enables employees to file their taxes every year.

What Information Do W-2 Forms Have?

A wage and tax statement form has different fields. It includes an employer’s information, the company’s information, and information on the employee’s annual wages and taxes. 

Who Is A W-2 Employee? 

Taxes are cut from the wages of a w-2 employee and paid on their behalf by the company he/she works for.

A W-2 employee is one who is paid through the employer’s payroll and is entitled to a tax form that features annual compensations in the form of wages and payroll taxes withheld throughout the year. 

In most cases, the company has no idea what this employee does from day to day. The employee is not regarded as a part of the main team of the company because he/she is not a full-time employed personnel. 

Companies or organizations in the US employ these individuals and issue them a w-2 tax form each year to have access to information on their gross wages and tax withholdings.

What Are The Benefits Of Being A W-2 Employee?

W-2 employees are independent and have freedom:

  • They are allowed to have a flexible schedule.
  • They are given a choice to accept only tasks they can handle.
  • They have the independence to work for different clients and companies.

W-2 employees are entitled to certain employee perks like health insurance, paid time off, compensation insurance, overtime pay, and retirement plans.

Read Also: What Are The 10 Workplace Ethics?

How To Get My W-2 Form Without Asking My Ex-Employer? 

Contacting your employer is the best way to obtain your W2 form, but if you can’t ask your employer about your W2 form for reasons best known to you, there are other ways to obtain it.

Contact The IRS

If your employer is not an option for obtaining your W2 form, your second option would be to request a transcript copy from the IRS. 

Before you proceed to make the request, it is assumed by the IRS that you have filed your taxes for the year which just passed.

You should equally note that the IRS won’t be able to issue your W-2 in its original/exact form. However, it can provide copies of your wage and income transcript. 

This transcript will contain the federal tax information your employer-provided to the (SSA) -Social Security Administration- for the previous year. Transcripts are available for a maximum of 10 years. 

The IRS would receive the transcript request you made after 10 business days, so it is advised that you be patient for 10 days maximum to get a copy. 

Wait For A Mail

If you no longer work for the company that employed you as a w-2 independent contractor, you could sit tight and patiently wait for copies of your W2 form to be sent to the personal email you provided on your information form from the company. 

This may take days, weeks, or months, but keep checking your email and mailbox; hopefully, you will get your wage and tax statement form from the company without ever having to contact your employer.

Contact Your State Tax Agency 

You can request your wage and tax statement form from the state withholding tax controller’s office. 

Provide the details they ask of you and the payment requested of you, as they may ask you to pay to obtain the form regardless of the fact that a w-2 form should be gotten for free.

Check Your W2 Tax Software

This software features the employee’s annual tax and wages information; the W2 copies are usually in a secure pdf form. 

In order to obtain your W2 form through tax software, you should find out what tax software your payroll company uses, log into the software using your details and download your W2 form.

Contact Your Tax Preparer

One way to get a copy of your W2 form without contacting your employer is to contact your tax preparer. 

Ensure you have all details you need at the back of your mind, for example, your social security number. Your tax preparer will provide you with the specific year of the W2 form you request. 

Your current address should also be given to the tax preparer, as he will include it on your file. 

If your tax preparer says he will get back to you, you may want to ask him how long you have to wait until you get the form you requested.

Check Your Digital Employee Dashboard

A duplicate copy of your wages and tax statement form can be found online on your digital employee dashboard or sent through an email from your former HR to your employee dashboard. 

Figure out if your company uses digital employee dashboards; if your company uses digital employee dashboards, then a digital copy will be available on your online employee account. 

You may also receive a digital copy via email or a paper copy. 


As mentioned earlier, if you changed jobs in the past year, you must have a W-2 form, also called a Wage and Tax Statement, to file your taxes. You use this form to find out how much taxes you owe or if you can expect a tax refund.

We hope this article has shown you all you need to know on how to get your W2 form without asking your ex-employer

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