Obtain copies of prior-year W-2 forms by submitting Form 4506 and paying a $50 fee directly to the IRS, the IRS explains in 2015. For a transcript of the return, which provides the information outlined on the W-2 form, submit Form 4506-T.
Taxpayers can submit Form 4506-T without paying a fee for the transcript request, the IRS notes. However, the IRS imposes a fee for each return a taxpayer requests using Form 4506, which supplies a copy of the W-2 attached to the complete tax return with which the taxpayer originally submitted the W-2. The IRS website allows direct downloads of Form 4506 and Form 4506-T. Alternatively, call the toll-free IRS customer service number to request the forms.
Taxpayers can also use Form 4506-T to request the information found on 1099 and 1098 forms. The transcripts are available for the previous 10 tax years, but information on the current tax year may not be available until July of that year, the IRS states.
The Social Security Administration, or SSA, can provide taxpayers with microprint copies of Form W-2, TurboTax reports. The SSA has W-2s that date back to the late 1970s. The SSA provides free W-2s for individuals who need them for Social Security purposes. However, the agency charges a fee for copies ordered for other reasons.