How Do I Request a Wage & Income Transcript?

The IRS provides free Wage and Income Transcripts.

The IRS provides free Wage and Income Transcripts.

The Internal Revenue Service uses different types of transcripts, which are computer-generated taxpayer records, to resolve issues with taxpayer accounts. The IRS provides the transcripts free of charge upon the request of the taxpayer or an authorized representative. Your Wage and Income Transcript includes information from several IRS forms you’ve submitted, including Form W-2, Form 5498 series, Forms 1098 and 1099 series. Form W-2 information is available for the previous 10 years, while the information from the other forms is available for the previous nine years. The IRS provides several methods by which you can request a transcript.

Complete IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Although this form title refers to a different transcript, the form includes an option to request a Wage and Income Transcript. If you have changed addresses since last submitting a form to the IRS, you may only use Form 4506-T to request the transcript.

Enter your current mailing address on line three and a previous address, if any, on line four. Complete IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, if your address has changed. The IRS will not fulfill your transcript request without this form.

Mail the change of address form, Form 8822, to the address provided on the form for your state. The IRS addresses for this form are different from those for the transcript request form. The IRS takes four to six weeks to process a change of address.

Check box #8 on Form 4506-T to request information on your transcript from IRS Forms, W-2, 1098, 1099 and 5498, the forms that make up the content of the Wage and Income Transcript.

List the years, up to four, for the information you want included in the transcripts. For instance, you might list 2006 through 2009. You need additional forms if you request more than four years. Wait until the year after filing your tax return to request a transcript for the current year.

Sign and date Form 4506-T and mail it to the IRS address provided on the form. The IRS must receive the form within 120 days of your signing if the transcript is to be mailed to a third party.

Wait for at least 45 days to receive your Wage and Income Transcript if you used Form 4506-T.


  • Make your transcript request online or by telephone for faster receipt. Use the automated request system on the “Order a Transcript” page at the IRS website or call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 to make your request. You may also visit your local IRS office to submit your request.
  • The IRS honors urgent requests when a certified transcript is needed to comply with legal requirements and when the transcript is for use by a Taxpayer Advocate or a court of law.
  • The IRS allows requests for wage and income transcripts from taxpayers or authorized agents and from government agencies under certain circumstances. A tax professional who has your power of attorney may use the agency’s online e-services to request the transcript through the Transcript Delivery System.
  • The IRS recommends that you contact the Social Security Administration if your need for W-2 information is related to retirement.

About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.

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