Employers may ask for copies of your W2 forms to verify your compensation prior to making a job offer. It may not be illegal for them to ask, check with your state labor department because state labor laws vary, but, it is inappropriate if they were to make a job offer based on what you were earning before, rather than on a set salary for the position.
Unfortunately, if you want to be considered for the position, it would be hard to refuse. What you can do though, is ask if the employer is considering making an offer. If the answer isn't positive, you can say you would prefer to wait until an offer was pending. You could also ask for average salaries for similar positions at the company, so, you have an idea of a salary to expect.
How to Get Copies of W-2 Forms
If you don't have copies of your past W-2 forms you can ask your employer(s) for a copy or order copies of your past tax returns directly from the IRS. The tax return will contain the W-2 information you need.
Also, employers are required to mail your W2 forms for the prior year by January 31.
Most importantly, make sure you are completely honest when completing previous salary information on job applications. The last thing a job seeker needs is to be caught in a discrepancy!
More Employment Forms
When conducting a job search, it's important to be aware of the forms that employers may require so you're prepared to interview, prepared to be hired, and ready to start a new job.
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