The struggles of tax season are more or less the same for all tax filers in the USA. However, some are in more problems than others. For instance, self-employed individuals or businessmen have to file their form 1099 in different categories.
The employed people depend on their employer to send out the Form W-2 for accurate reporting of income, taxes, credits, etc. while filing the tax return.
It can be hard for employers to ensure that all employees get their W-2s on time, especially for large organizations.
It’s one of the reasons why many companies have automated mailing out the W-2s on the employees’ will. The employees can consent to receive their W-2 by mail, email, or online portal.
However, in many cases, the W-2s might not be received by the employee or get lost. In that case, a copy of the W-2 is required.
Besides, a copy of the W-2 is also required for filing state or local tax returns. Therefore, many people question how to get a copy of my W-2 online in 2022.
In this article, we will tell you how you can get a copy of your W-2 online as well as by requesting the Social Security Administration. So let’s get into it.
What Is Form W-2?
W-2 Form is the most important one for the people working for others. It’s a mandatory requirement by the IRS for the employer to issue the W-2 forms to all employees working for him, full-time or part-time.
If you’re a US citizen working for a company registered and operating in the United States, you need a W-2 to report your income and taxes withheld.
Every employer paying $600 or more in lieu of remunerations per year has to file the Form W-2 and send it to the SSA.
Let’s specifically talk about the content of the form. It contains all the cash and non-cash income of the employee, his SSN, taxes withheld, contributions, etc. Three copies of the form are sent to the employee for reporting purposes.
We can formally define W-2 Form as,
“The statement issued by an employer to the employee containing the information about the employee’s annual wages and withheld taxes from paychecks for the reporting year is called form W-2. Different parts of the form W-2 contain information like federal withholding tax, social security tax, medicare tax, state and local income taxes, and employee’s gross wages.”
Who Issues Form W-2?
IRS has issued the guidelines related to filing Form W-2. Unlike the common perception, Form W-2 has to be filed by the employer, not the employee.
Every employer or business registered and operational in the United States must file the W-2 for every employee if it is paying $600 or more in remuneration (cash and non-cash) every tax year.
The form has to be sent to the Social Security Administration before the 31st of January in every tax year. Besides, the copies are sent to the employee before the 31st of January. It can take up to two weeks to deliver the W-2 by mail.
How Many Copies of W-2 Are Created?
Here are the details of six copies prepared by an employer:
Copy A: Employer will e-file or mail copy A to the SSA(Social Security Administration) together with Form W-3
Copy B: The employer will send Copy B to his employee, and the employee will attach the copy with Federal Income Tax Return.
Copy C: Copy C is also to be sent to the employee for his own records
Copy D: Copy D will be kept by the employer for business record
Copy 1: If there is a requirement for a state, city, or local tax return, Copy 1 is sent to the concerned department
Copy 2: Copy 2 has to be sent to the employee for filing state, local, or city tax return
Purpose of W-2
The purpose of Form W-2 is reporting of the wages and salaries that the employer is paying to each employee.
It also includes the benefits provided by the employer to the employee. Besides, the W-2 keeps a record of the taxes withheld from the paycheck (medicare, social security, federal tax), etc. The form’s main purpose is to report income & wages along with the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks.
How to Get A Copy of W-2 Online?
Technically, you can’t get a copy of your W-2 online for printing or filing. However, if you want to get access to a copy of your W-2 online, there are two tax software for your help. H&R Block and TurboTax can help you find a copy of your W-2 online if you have lost the original form or want to access prior year W-2s. Let’s discuss each of the methods.
H&R Block is a tax software that will help you find and access your W-2. If you have signed up for the software, it retrieves your current and prior year W-2 data online.
The Early Access Feature of the H&R block is what you need to access your W-2s before your employer has mailed them.
The method is very simple and comprises three steps. Here are the simple steps you need to follow and look up your W-2 online:
- Go to the Early Access portal of H&R Block and look up your employer’s name from a database of thousands of employers. You must enter the Federal Employer Identification Number to find your employer.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to request an electronic copy of your W-2. The request is sent to the local H&R Block Office.
- After the processing, you can pick up a copy of your Form W-2 from the local office.
The limitation of this method is that your employer must be there in the database of H&R Block. Secondly, you must personally visit the office with your ID to receive a copy of your W-2.
The second method of accessing your W-2 online is through the TurboTax app. You won’t have to visit the office to receive Form W-2. Instead, you can look up your data and file the return easily.
You must go to the TurboTax W-2 Finder and Retriever and follow the on-screen instructions. The software will guide you through the process, allowing you to access your W-2. However, the method’s limitation is that your employer must be listed with TurboTax.
How To Get A Copy of W-2 From SSA?
If you want to get a copy of your W-2 through the proper channel, you can request it from SSA or the IRS.
We will discuss the free method of getting a copy of W-2 from SSA. To get all copies of W-2 from the IRS, you might need to pay a fee of around $50.
The valid reasons related to Social Security-related reasons. You can request your W-2s for the years 1978 to 2022 from the SSA, and they will provide you with a copy for free if you have valid reasons.
However, for unrelated reasons like having a copy for your record, you will have to pay a fee of $90.
What do you need when requesting a copy of Form W-2 from SSA?
When filing the application, make sure to include the information like:
- Your full name on your Social Security Card
- Your Social Security Number
- Mailing Address(Complete and Update)
- Any name other than SSC name(as mentioned on W-2)
- The year for which you need W-2 copies
- Your telephone number
- Reason for request
How To Get A Copy Of W-2 From Employer?
Another method of getting a copy of your W-2 form is requesting your employer to mail you a new copy.
Whether your company has its HR department or relies on third-party service providers, you can contact the relevant department and ask to mail out a copy of your W-2. It’s the fastest way and is recommended by the IRS.
We have discussed the purpose of W-2, who has to issue the form, and the deadlines. We hope it has clarified your question and showed you a way to access your W-2 data for filing tax returns on time.
We have also talked about methods to get copies of your W-2 from SSA, your employer, or online. You can get access to your W-2 by any of the methods we have discussed in the article.