Q:

What are some places to get W-2 forms online for free?

A:

Quick Answer

W-2 forms can be ordered for free from the IRS using its online order form. Tax preparation software may also have copies of W-2 forms included in the package. Taxpayers may obtain W-2 forms from Office Max or Staples, but those forms are not free.

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Full Answer

Taxpayers cannot download W-2 forms from the IRS or anywhere else online. Copy A of the W-2 form has a certain color of red ink that cannot be copied, and Copy A must be filed with the Social Security Administration. If using tax software, taxpayers may complete the W-2 form directly online.

Businesses can file W-2 forms online directly through the Social Security Administration's website after registering for online accounts. The Social Security Administration provides services that allow businesses to verify employee names and Social Security numbers against the SSA's records.

To file W-2s by mail, the W-2 forms must comply with the rules regarding red ink and laser printed forms, and this process requires pre-approval from the Social Security Administration. Addresses to which the forms should be mailed are available on the Social Security Administration's website. Addresses differ depending on if the form is being mail by the U.S. Postal Service or a private delivery service.

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