W-2 forms online

At the end of January each year, a wave of envelopes overtake post offices across the nation as employers send out W-2’s to their employees by the January 31st deadline set by the Internal Revenue Service. These W-2 forms usually reach their anxiously waiting recipients by the middle of February. The W-2 form is a record, maintained by employers, of the income earned and taxes paid by the employee. This record includes wages, commissions and tips, as well as the total amounts withheld for state, federal and social security taxes during the previous year’s employment. The W-2 contains the financial information necessary to fill out the personal income tax forms required by the Internal Revenue Service and each state department of revenue that determine the annual amount of taxes that must be paid to the federal and state governments by each individual citizen.

Many companies, as well as the military, now provide W-2’s online. The documents are available for download through a variety of outsourcing companies that manage and automate the W-2 distribution process. Your employer will usually indicate that they have contracted with a payroll or W-2 distribution company that has the online W-2 feature available to you. Providing W-2’s online means that employees do not have to wait for paper copies in the mail and can file their taxes earlier and also eliminates some of the tremendous paper waste associated with this massive, national mailing.

How to get your W-2 form online:

  • Even if your employer does not indicate that your W-2 is available online, you can still check with several websites to determine if your information is available. Rapidtax.org is an online W-2 site that has a search feature allowing you to look for your employer. Alternatively, if you know your employers Employee Identification Number you can log in to the websites using this number, as well some of your own personal information and the gross amount of pay from your last paycheck.

  • Once you have located your information, you can download and print out your W-2 to include with your tax return forms. You can print out multiple copies by logging back in to the website and repeating the process. It is important to note that once you choose to access your W-2 online, you will not be sent a paper copy in the mail.