How Do You Get Your W-2 From a Previous Employer?

Contact your previous employer and ask for a W-2 to be mailed to your address, suggests the Internal Revenue Service. If you do not receive a copy of your W-2 for the previous tax year prior to Feb. 14th, call the IRS and ask for assistance.

The deadline for employers to mail W-2 forms is Jan. 31st, according to the IRS. If you do not have your W-2 by early February, call your previous employer to verify your address and ask what date the employer sent your W-2. If necessary, ask for a new copy. If your former employer is bankrupt, you can contact the bankruptcy attorney to obtain your W-2, or contact the state for limited wage information, suggests the State of California Franchise Tax Board.

The IRS can contact your employer on your behalf if you do not receive a W-2, explains the IRS. Be prepared to give the employer's name, address, phone number and employer identification number, when possible. You also need to have an estimate of the wages you earned, the amount of taxes withheld, your official dates of employment, and basic personal information.

If you must file your taxes before receiving a W-2, fill out a Form 4852, according to the IRS. Form 4852 requires that you estimate your wages and withholding. The IRS verifies your information, so it may take longer to process your tax return. When you receive the W-2, compare it to Form 4852, and file an amended tax return if the numbers differ.