Employee FAQs: Form W-2

 In Employees, Human Resources, Payroll, Tax Compliance

Form W-2 shows taxable wages, not gross wages.  Many times salaried employees expect to see their full salary gross on the W-2…

Form W-2 is an important form for employers and employees during tax season. Employees often have questions about the form, and the information it reports. Read some frequently asked questions that employees typically have regarding Form W-2.

Q: What is my W-2 used for?

A: W-2 form is designed to provide a detailed and accurate report on the employee’s annual taxable wages, as well as the amount withheld due to taxes and other mandatory or voluntary withholdings during the year for which the form is submitted. Employers have to fill out the W-2 forms and send them to each employee by a specific deadline as mandated by the IRS.

Q: My personal information is incorrect on my W-2. What do I do?

A: Contact your employer and ask for a corrected form (Form W-2c).

Q: Why is my full salary not showing on my W-2?

A: Form W-2 shows taxable wages, not gross wages.  Many times salaried employees expect to see their full salary gross on the W-2.  Employees can use their last pay stub from 2019 to see the YTD taxable wages and deductions.

Box 1 (Fed) and Box 16 (State) taxable wages are Gross Taxable Wages less Section 125 Pretax deductions less Retirement Plan Deferrals (401k, SIMPLE IRA, etc.- except Roth deferrals).

Box 2 (Fed) shows the total federal income tax withheld from your pay during the year. This amount is determined by the employee’s Form W-4.

Box 3 (Soc Sec), Box 5 (Medicare), and Box 18 (Local) are Gross Taxable Wages less Section 125 Pretax deductions. *There are some exceptions for states and locals outside of Ohio.

Q: I never received a copy of my W-2. What do I do?

A: Employers are required to mail or deliver W-2s to their employees not later than January 31st. If you haven’t received your W-2 by mid-February, ask your employer for another copy, but note some employers will charge you for an additional copy. If your employer refuses to provide you with a copy of your W-2, contact the IRS.

Q: I’m a freelancer and I didn’t receive a W-2. Do I need a copy?

A: Freelancers and independent contractors who were paid $600.00 or more in 2019 will receive Form 1099-MISC, not Form W-2

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