Getting Ex-Wife’s W-2

Today TaxMama hears from Bernie in New York, who’s quite frustrated. “My ex-wife and I are working on funding our child’s college education. How can I find out if her $18,000 W-2 is complete and honest? Her husband is showing her as his company’s secretary at this reduced income level. How can I get copies of her last three years’ W-2s to see if she’s telling the truth?”

Well Bernie,

There are only two ways to get copies of anyone’s tax records, documents or information.

1) Ask them to give it to you.


2) Get a court order and have the court subpoena the records from IRS.

That’s it. Period. There is no other way.

What’s if you wouldn’t believe any documents she gives you? Fill out a Form 4506-T to request transcripts of her W-2s for the last three years to be sent to you – and have her sign it and send it to IRS. That way, you’ll know the information is coming from IRS.

Now, your concern about her getting a nominal, reduced salary? If it’s her husband’s business, and that’s all he wants to pay her – and she’s willing to accept that – there’s nothing illegal about that. It may not be the most ethical way to go. And it’s a poor example to set your child. And it does tell your child that Mom is not willing to chip in for her legitimate share to put your child through college. And your child may remember that forever, somewhere in the back of her mind. Only to surface years later when it’s time to take care of Mom when she’s old and the resentments erupt… But it is legal.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about getting copies of tax documents and other tax information, free. Where? At

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