TN 11 (11-00)

RM 03870.030 Request for Microprint Copy of Form W-2

A. Introduction

In the development of a scramble wage and/or other earnings discrepancy related issue, information provided on a microprint of the Form W-2 filed by the employer may be needed to identify who the employer is, verify the employee's address, and/or determine if any special wage payments were made, etc. Further, the need for the microprint could be based on questions raised by the adjudicator or a number holder's (NH's) allegation. This request is typical for a SSA program related purpose.

With the implementation of Item Correction (ICOR) Earnings Modernization Systems Release 2.8 (EM 2.8), the Form W-2 information can be requested and received online via ICOR EM 2.8. Although the preferred method to request Form W-2 information is via ICOR EM 2.8 online, you may occasionally need to request an actual microprint copy of the Form W-2.

B. Procedure

To obtain a Form W-2 microprint, request scouting via the Wage Scouting screen (EWSR) (MSOM EM 016.004 ) and indicate in remarks on the Special Instructions screen (ESPI) (MSOM EM 016.007 ) that a microprint of the Form W-2 is needed. Include the tax year(s) requested. This same information should be included on the appropriate Earnings Development screen (EDEV) (MSOM EM 017.003 ).

1. Request for copies of SSA program related W-2s

There is no charge for providing the NH or the legal representative(s) with a microprint copy of the Form W-2 requested for purposes of resolving an SSA program related matter; e.g., resolving an earnings discrepancy in connection with the processing of a title II and/or title XVI claim or an SSA or NH initiated earnings investigation.

NOTE: When earnings are missing on a Social Security Statement including Form 1826 or other SSA earnings notices and a copy of the Form W-2 is not available, TSRs/SPIKES should refer these types of inquiries to the field office (FO) or Program Service Center (PSC) for development via ICOR EM 2.8. FOs should check suspense for the missing wages and, if necessary, develop for other evidence of wages.

Do Not tell the NH, that he/she must get a copy of the W-2 before SSA can assist
him/her with the missing earnings on the statements.

2. Request for microprint copies of non-SSA program related W-2s

The Privacy Act and Section 1106 of the Social Security Act permit SSA to charge an individual a fee for searching, reviewing and providing copies of Forms W-2 for all non-SSA program related purpose requests, as defined in RM 01455.004B. There is a fee of $86 for each year that copies of Forms W-2 are requested, regardless of the number of W-2 copies actually provided for each of the years requested, or whether copies are available for the year(s) requested.

NOTE: This procedure does not cover requests by employers for microprint copies of Forms W-2. Follow your current procedure (GN 03311.005E.) when employer request for microprint copies of Form W-2 is received.

Below are some examples of non-SSA program related purpose requests for copies of Forms W-2.

  • Filing Federal or State tax returns;

  • Resolving any State tax discrepancies;

  • Establishing residency;

  • Lost form; and

  • Pension funds.

Also, when no specific reason for the request is provided, it is deemed to be for a non-SSA program related purpose.

The public can request copies of Forms W-2 from SSA by submitting either IRS Form 4506 (Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form) or other written correspondence. An individual can request copies of Forms W-2 from the record of someone else if that person tells us in writing to give the copies to the third party. The individual's written authorization should be sent in with the W-2 request and SSA must receive it within 60 days of the date the individual signed it.

Requests for copies are processed in the Office of Central Operation's Division of Earnings Records Operations (OCO/DERO). The mailing address is:


    Social Security Administration


    Office of Central Operations


    Division of Earnings Records Operations


    P.O. Box 33003


    Baltimore, MD 21290-3003

DERO returns the W-2 microprint within 3-4 weeks of receipt of form IRS 4506 (or equivalent). If you have questions regarding the processing of these requests, contact DERO in the office of Earnings Operations (OEO) per the telephone numbers provided the chart in SM00349.405C.

C. Request for copies of W-2s for IRS purposes

The IRS will only provide copies of Forms W-2 if a tax return was filed and if the request is for Federal tax purposes or related to Federal tax situations (e.g., filing amended tax returns or resolving Federal tax issues).

The IRS maintains microfilm of processed W-2s or W-2 data only for the current tax year of processing and the previous 9 years. They cannot provide W-2 copies for any earlier years.

Refer requests for copies of a Form W-2 needed for Federal tax purposes within the retention period noted above to the requester's IRS Service Center or to the IRS toll-free number, which is 1-800-829-1040. If the requester has received a notice or letter from IRS, the service center is shown on the notice/letter.

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RM 03870.030 - Request for Microprint Copy of Form W-2 - 10/21/2014
Batch run: 04/05/2017