General Question

bezdomnaya's avatar

Is it legitimate to be charged for a second copy of a W2 form?

Asked by bezdomnaya (1432 points ) March 8th, 2009

One of my former employers is charging me $15 for a second W2 because the first one was sent to my old address. I ask this because this employer was rather stingy and could just be trying to get money out of me or it could be legitimate.

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5 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It’s cheaper than the IRS charge:

“The IRS does not retain actual copies of Form W-2 (PDF) except as an attachment to your tax return, for prior years. However, the IRS maintains (and will provide free of charge) Form W-2 information for any purpose for the past ten processing years. Use Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to request Form W-2 information. The only way to get a copy of your Form W-2 from IRS is to order a copy of the entire return on Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, and pay a fee of $57.00 per tax year.”

Employers (and former employers) take the position that it is up to the employee to keep their personal information updated.

I agree that it is a bummer you have to pay. If you look at it from their point of view, though, there is a cost associated with pulling the records, making the copies, and then mailing it.

DrBill's avatar

I think it is immoral, but it is legal.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

It could be that their bookkeeping service charges them, and they are passing it along. My daughter had to pay $15 to have a lost paycheck replaced.

Did you do a postal change of address when you moved? I think those are good for six months. Was the W-2 returned to them?

bezdomnaya's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock I am going to ask them if the W2 was returned to them (it was for my other employer of last year). The bookkeeping service idea makes sense to me too.

@DrBill I think so too.

@Marina Wow, that is much more expensive.

SherriS's avatar

@Marina: the IRS does NOT charge for copies of W2s. They do charge for copies of tax returns. AND the IRS will not have the W2 info available until a year later! So 2006 W2 would be filed in Jan 2007 and NOT available until 2008 which is much too late to use for a timely filed tax return!
@DrBill: if the employee moved and did not give the employer/bookkeeper the new address, then there should be a charge for a replacement W2!

Yes, it is legitimate to be charged for a 2nd copy of W2. Why did you not get the first one? Your fault or the employers? Your fault: absolutely you should be charged!

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