According to the Internal Revenue Service, a W-2 generally must be given to an employee no later than January 31, though an employer may be granted an extension of time to provide W-2s under some circumstances. Corrections to W-2s, usually on Form W-2c, can be issued when and as needed.
An individual who no longer works for the employer can request a W-2. The employer is required to provide the form within 30 days of the request or within 30 days of the final wage payment, whichever is later. If a W-2 is undeliverable, the employer is required to have it available on request for four years, according to IRS instructions for the form.