How to Retrieve W-2 Forms Online

By Kimberly Porter - Updated March 28, 2017

A W-2 is the form on which employers show the wages paid to an employee each year and the amount of taxes withheld. While employers are required to send W-2s to their employees by the end of January for the previous year's wages and taxes, you can also usually retrieve them online from your company's website. Your employer must also send your W-2 information to the IRS.

Contact Your Employer's HR Department

Your company's HR department is responsible for issuing your W-2, so that's the place to start if you're searching for an online copy. This will most likely be in the employee section of the employer's website, or the employer will have made the W-2 forms available through a website that provides that service.

Follow The Instructions

Once you get online, follow the instructions for retrieving your W-2 from your employer's website. Once you access the website, you might need and employer's identification number or a password provided by the HR department to access the portion of the website where the employer's W-2 forms are available.

Visit Tax Form Express or Rapid Tax

If you are not sure whether your W-2 form is available online, create an account with one of these sites or find the "search for employer" link. Some sites require you to set up an account first, while others will allow you to check and see if your employer is listed there before you create an account.

Enter Required Information

To access the site, you'll need the identification number or name of your employer and your secure, personal identifying information. This may include such things as the gross amount of your last paycheck, your social security number and your date of birth. Follow the links to your W-2, review the form and print it out.

Tip

Smaller employers may not have HR departments or websites where you can retrieve an online copy of your W-2. In this case, you may need to request a new paper copy directly from your employer.

Warning

You cannot get your W-2 online from the IRS.

About the Author

Kimberly Porter is a writer based in Miami, FL, first published in 2004 when she was an intern with "The Miami Herald." Since then she has interned with "Ocean Drive Magazine," and worked as a contributing writer for "Social Affairs Magazine." Porter currently writes for Trails Travel, GolfLink, eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and USA Today Travel Tips.

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