As a general rule of the Internal Revenue Service, a W2 form must be provided to an employee no later than Jan. 31 for the preceding year. A former employee is provided a W2 on that date as well, unless that individual requests to receive it earlier. Typically, such a request comes when a person is terminated.
If a terminated employee requests a W2, the document must be provided within 30 days of the request or within 30 days of the final pay check, whichever date is later. A form W2c is utilized to correct any mistakes on an original form.