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Q&A: wage/tax records

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  How do I get a copy of my W-2 or 1099?

A.  The quickest way to obtain a copy of a prior year 1099 or W-2 is through your employer.  If that's not possible, you can order copies from the IRS for a fee ($50 per copy) by using Form 4506.  Allow up to 75 calendar days for the IRS to process your request.  Alternatively, you can obtain a transcript of the same information free of charge by using Form 4506-T.   

If you have not received your current year forms by the end of February, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for assistance.  When you call, you should have the following information available:

  • Your name, address (including ZIP code), phone number, and social security number,
  • Your employer/payer's name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number,
  • If known, your employer/payer’s identification number (EIN), and
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, your federal income tax withheld, and your dates of employment.

After February, the IRS will contact the employer/payer for you and request the missing or corrected form. The IRS will also send you a Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., along with a letter containing instructions.