Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement

About this Form:

You must file Form W-2 if you have one or more employees you made payments for the employees’ services in your trade or business during the current year.

How do I fill out Form W-2?

There are multiple parts to Form W-2. As an employer it is important that each copy is legible and easy to read. You are required to send Copy A to the SSA; Copy 1, if required, to your state, city, or local tax department; and Copies B, C, and 2 to your employee. Keep Copy D with your records for 4 years. The W-2 form is based on a calendar year. This mean all entries must be based on wages paid during the calendar year. Starting with box A, enter the employee’s social security number. Moving to box B, enter your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Box C requires the employer’s name, address, and zip code. Moving to box D, enter your control number. For box E, enter the employee’s first name and initial. To the right, enter the employee’s full last name, and to the right of that, enter the employee’s suffix, if applicable. Moving down to box F, enter the employee’s address and zip code. Now you can start entering the information needed in box 1. Box 1 needs you to enter all wages, tips, other compensation paid during the calendar year. Do not include elective deferrals. Moving to box 2, enter all Federal income tax withheld from the employee's wages for the year. For box 3, enter all Social security wages paid before payroll deductions that are subject to employee social security tax but not including social security tips and allocated tips. Moving over to box 4, enter the total employee social security tax withheld, including social security tax on tips. Down to box 5, enter all wages and tips subject to Medicare tax are the same as those subject to social security tax (boxes 3 and 7) except that there is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Enter the total Medicare wages and tips in box 5. Be sure to enter tips that the employee reported even if you did not have enough employee funds to collect the Medicare tax for those tips. Box 6 requires you enter the total employee Medicare tax withheld. For box 7, enter tips that the employee reported to you even if you did not have enough employee funds to collect the social security tax for the tips. The total of boxes 3 and 7 should not be more than $132,900. Report all of the tips included in box 1 along with wages and other compensation. Include any tips reported in box 7 in box 5 as well. In box 8, enter allocated tips. This is for businesses that operate a large food or beverage establishment, and requires employers show tips allocated to employees. This amount is included in boxes 1, 3, 5, or 7. Box 10 covers dependent care benefits and needs you as the employer to fill in the total dependent care benefits under a dependent care assistance program paid or incurred by you for your employee. Include the fair market value of care in a daycare facility provided or sponsored by you for your employees and the amounts you paid or incurred for dependent care assistance in a section 125 (cafeteria) plan. Moving to box 11, enter if any part of the amounts reported in box 1 or box 3 and/or box 5 was earned in a prior calendar year. This information is used to you have paid the correct amount of benefits. Over to box 12, enter the correct code for this box. Box 12 needs each employee’s code(s), if applicable. Enter the corresponding codes in boxes 12a through 12d for each employee. Use the IRS code designations for the item you are entering, followed by the dollar amount for that item. Onto box 13, check all boxes that apply. Statutory employees are employees whose earnings are subject to social security and Medicare taxes, but are not subject to federal income tax withholding. Otherwise, check if this is a retire plan or third-party sick pay. For box 14, enter if you included 100% of a vehicle's annual lease value in the employee's income. Boxes 15 through 20 need you to enter your state and local income tax information. These boxes are used to report state and local income tax information. Enter the two-letter abbreviation for the name of the state. The employer's state ID numbers are assigned by the individual states. Enter all state wages, tips, etc in line 16. For line 17, enter all state income tax. Line 18 needs all local wages, tips, etc. paid to that employee. In box 19, enter the local income tax, and finally in box 20, enter the locality name. This is the city or town taxes were paid. You have now completed Form W-2.  

Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement: FAQs

  • Form W-2 is a wage and tax statement an employer is required to send to each of their employees and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of the year.

  • Your employer is required to provide you your W-2 for the previous year by January 31st of the current year.

  • Form 1099 and Form W-2 are two separate tax forms for two different categories of workers.

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