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I was working for a startup that went out of business in December 2012 and due to an accounting snafu my last deposit wasn't released until January 2013. I was able to get my 2012 W2 with a great amount of effort, but have had zero luck getting one for 2013 to cover that one last payment. Everything was done electronically via direct deposit, so I never received any stubs and never had access to that information.

My pay was very erratic at the end as I was on demand part time. I should have kept track of those hours on paper, but did not as they were in the electronic accounting system that I lost access to when the company closed. (side note, never trust electronic systems for your pay and taxes, do all this stuff on paper and insist on getting paper checks/stubs even though it's more work!)

It was only a little over $100 on that last check (the amount deposited I have from my bank). While I'd prefer not to pay taxes again on something that was already paid, it won't break me to do so.

  1. Is there any way to get my W2 information from the government somehow? I'd imagine companies submit that somehow, otherwise the IRS would never be able to catch cheaters?

  2. If not, is there a way/special form I can file without the W2/substitute for a W2 (even if it means sucking it up and being double taxed)? I'd need something for state and local too I imagine?

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Yes, there's a way. I actually wrote a blog post about it. Its a new service from the IRS which allows you pulling your account online.

IRS also has an instruction page just for this case here.

  • Hmmm, site is good for pulling up past return information, but the 2013 Wages report shows absolutely nothing for us. My wife has received all 3 of her W2s this year and I've received 1 of the 2 I'm supposed to have, yet the IRS site shows nothing for us for wages. – Brian Knoblauch Mar 7 '14 at 15:06
  • End result, I was able to get the W2 through one of the investors in the business right before the deadline. I tried the online service, but it didn't show anything at all for me (for income) for the last couple of years (and I've worked several places and filed taxes successfully), I think it's either broken or isn't up to speed yet. The instruction page for that case to do it manually probably would have been my best bet had I never been able to get the W2. – Brian Knoblauch Jun 19 '14 at 11:25

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