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It is unusual for someone to be required 40 years of W-2's and 1099's unless it dealt with social security.
The Social Security Administration can provide a work history report and reported earnings for your entire life.
You should also be able to get at least a partial third party payer report from the IRS.
to get copies of your SS report and copies of your W-2's please use the following instructions:
To get the third party payer report contact the IRS at(NNN) NNN-NNNNselect option one and then option 4. Ask to speak to the department who can provide a third party payer report to determine prior year 1099 payers. (they should be able to give you at least 5 years worth).
To obtain a work history report, please check here: