Requesting a transcript from the IRS may be beneficial if you are looking for wage and income information reported on a tax return within the past 10 years.
A transcript will include information reported on Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series, and Form 5498 series. To request a transcript, a taxpayer must complete Form 4506-T. Up to eight years may be requested on one Form 4506-T. A check or money order made payable to the "United States Treasury" for $50 must be included for each year requested. Your social security number and the words "Form 4506-T" should be included on the memo line of your check.
Form W-2 copy
If a full transcript is not required, taxpayers have the option to request only a copy of Form W-2. In this case, taxpayers must request full copies of their tax returns for the year(s) needed. The same $50 fee per tax year as above applies. However, you will only receive an actual copy of Form W-2 if in fact a paper return was filed and a copy of Form W-2 was submitted with the return. If the tax returns were e-filed and unavailable from the IRS, Form W-2 can also be requested from the Social Security Administration for a fee. The simplest way to request a copy of Form W-2, would be to ask your employer, when possible.