Tax season is quickly approaching, and the sooner you get your information in order, the better. The first thing to do is to get your W-2. A W-2 form is a statement of annual earnings and taxes withheld.

What is the W2 Form Used for?

The W-2 includes the financial data required to complete IRS 1040 income tax forms needed by the IRS and every State department of revenue. It is used to figure out the yearly amount of taxes that have to be paid to the federal and state governments by every person.

W-2 form is a form prepared by employers, of the wages made and taxes paid out by the worker. This record consists of income, commissions, and tips, along with the money held back for the state, federal, and social security taxes throughout the prior year’s employment.

Your employer and the IRS use a W-2 form to track your wages. It determines how much your return or due amount is at the end of the fiscal year. Starting in January every year, companies mail out W2’s to their employees by January 31st, the due date set by the IRS. The W-2 forms typically get there by the end of January Some people wait to get these in the mail, but there are much faster ways to access a W-2 online.

How you Could Try to Get a Copy of Your W2 Online

Go Through Your Employer

Do you remember the employee website you created an account for when you got hired? It holds more than training documents and explanations for benefit packages. It tracks your earnings and is the most direct way to get your W-2 online.
Every employer’s navigation is a bit different, but typically, the process is a little like this:

  1. Sign into your account
  2. Find the Human Resources or Payments page
  3. Look for Personal Documents, Wage Information, or Tax Forms
  4. Make sure you’re viewing forms/numbers for the current year
  5. Download and print your W-2

If you’re having trouble finding what you need, ask a coworker how they accessed theirs. The process should take less than a few minutes, and it’s better to ask than to waste more time looking on your own.

Try Third-Party Sites

Another way to access your W-2 online is with the help of reputable online tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block. These websites have search features that enable you to find your W-2 without hassle, and with full security.
Plus, they are built to ease every step of the tax filing process. You can find your W-2, fill out all your statements, and track your possible return along the way. Each service has its own price point and service method, though. Consider the pros and cons before choosing one of the many tax preparation systems available online.

Calculate Your Wages

If you still can’t find your W-2 online, or if you forgot it at home when you went to meet with your tax preparer, you can calculate your wages. The easiest way to do this is with the information on your final pay stub of the year.
This will have all the information from your current earning period, and all your earnings since January. Take your time looking at all the information, and remember you might have some adjustments to do.
If you have a 401K or insurance premiums, for example, these need to be subtracted from gross taxable wages.


Remember: Never file your tax return with calculated or estimated wages from your last paycheck stub of the year. Tax returns filed with estimated or calculated wages could result in errors. Always wait for all your tax statements to arrive before you finalize and submit any tax return.

How to Get a Copy of Your W2 Online

With more than 100 million W-2’s available online, finding yours may be very easy by using the tools below

TurboTax and H&R Block are both online tax preparation companies that have a free W2 search and import function enabling you to find your W2 online quickly.

You have the option to import your W2 into your tax return instantly. This service is fast, free, easy and automatically places your information where it needs to go in your tax return.

  • TurboTax W2 Finder will find and retrieve your W2which allows you to file your taxes as soon as you are ready. This year you can lookup W2 easier than ever before! Just follow the TurboTax screens as it guides you to find your W2 online.

Millions of employers and financial institutions participate, so the odds are good your W2 will be available to download. You save time by doing so, and it ensures that your information is delivered accurately.

  • H&R Block W2 Finder will also find and access your W2. When using an online-based company like H&R Block, you will have the capability to get your W2 data online. You won’t have to wait for your forms to come in the mail.

The H&R Block search page can find your W2 in 3 easy steps. You can then import your W2 data into your tax return for free so that you can get your refund as soon as possible!

Many Employers Already Use Online W-2’s

The majority of businesses, and also the military services, now provide free W-2 online retrieval. The forms are accessible for download and tax filing. Your company will usually let you know they have made an online-based W2 lookup open to you.

Accessing a Past Job’s W-2 Online

Don’t forget to gather all of your different W-2s if you went through a few jobs this year. Everything has to be added up to calculate the most accurate return and keep you in good standing with the IRS.
You can follow one of the steps above to access each W-2 online or reach out to your old employer directly. 

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