Top Right Image


  • Stubbuilder
  • Apr 30, 2024

How to Get a W-2 From a Previous Employer

A W-2, wage and tax statement, is expected by the IRS for tax purposes. Companies are supposed to pay the W-2 no later than January 31 so that you will be able to file your tax return and complete the process of verification. If you changed jobs this past year, then you are still expected to have a W-2 from a previous employer. Keep on reading to know how to get a W-2 from a previous employer.

Why Do You Need A W-2 From Your Previous Employer?

In case you have already started your new job in the past year, you will be needing a W-2 form from your previous employer to accurately file your taxes. A W-2 form showcases your income earned, and state, federal, and other taxes withheld.

Your current and previous employers are required by the IRS to file a W-2 form for every employee by 31st January. Make sure that you have received a W-2 form from your employer to avoid tax filing penalties.

How To Get W-2 From A Former Employer?

  • Check The Date: Watch the date as it senses when to reach out to your previous employer or not. Your previous employer is solely responsible for filing your W-2 form at least by 14th February.
  • Confirm The Current Address: With a new job, very likely you will have changed your address. Unless you have a change-of-address form on file, your mail will continue to go forward to your old address or perhaps return addressed to your old employer. Visit your local US Post Office and complete a change-of-address form. It typically takes 7-10 days before the forwarding takes effect for your mail to reach your new address.
  • Search For Email: Most employers prefer to send W-2 in a paperless or digital format. You should know that most W-2 forms are emailed. Look at your email box, and you will see your W-2 form. You can search your inbox or spam folder to find it. Remember you can look in all your email accounts since it can be sent to your previous workplace’s email.
  • Contact Your Former Employer: By early February, you should receive your W-2; otherwise, call your old employer. Most likely, the old employer’s HR department will be able to handle the problem the fastest. Otherwise, your old manager can assist you.
  • Contact The Payroll Administrator: Many organizations use a third-party payroll processor. Contact the payroll administrator directly to have your W-2 resent or to take care of the issue with it being sent late.
  • Contact The IRS: If you haven’t received a W-2 from your last employer by February 14th, you should contact the IRS immediately. The IRS will need your old EIN, your Social Security number, your last employer’s contact information, and projected earnings and dates you worked there.

Reasons To Retrieve Your Old W-2 Form

  • Filing Back Tax Returns: The IRS holds a list of people who are supposed to file taxes but do not, and this can lead to consequences where the IRS may come after you for back tax returns. Back tax returns may cause you future problems, such as heavy penalty fees, and you will be required to get back in good standing with the IRS by reviewing past tax forms to pay your return.
  • Applying For Loans: While applying for loans, you might be required to prove that you have a stable income for the past few years, which means that they might request you to have previous year’s W-2 forms.
  • Legal Reasons: You might need to document transactions for many different types of legal proceedings such as to determine child support payments.
  • Monitoring Income History: You may be asked for your income history on many occasions, and your W-2 forms best help you trace your income history. You also get details of how much your employer has contributed towards your health insurance and how much you have contributed towards your retirement plan.


A W-2 form can make tax filing easier and give you an accurate picture of your income. Contact the previous employer directly, through the IRS resources, or through online pay stub generators, but always have the paperwork needed to pay your taxes. Pay stubs generator free also allow one to create pay stub online free in an efficient and economical manner.