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Understand a W2 form like an expert

Understand a W2 form like an expert

If you are reading a W2 form as a beginner, chances are that you may get confused quickly. We understand that understanding a tax form cannot be a likable task. But working in USA, you have to receive a W2 form each year. Copies of W2 forms are useful for declaring your federal and local income taxes, you need to have grip with basics.

We are providing this guide which will help you understand W2 form like an expert. This guide will help you in avoiding mistakes, misunderstandings associated with income declaration.


Left panel of W2 form displays personal information. Name, address of the person and name, address of the employer constitutes the personal details. Financial details are available at the right.

You can have look at the sample to inform you about regular layout. After gaining familiarity with W2 form, understanding W2 form becomes quite easy. One needs to keep paystubs and W2 forms safe by keeping it as a reference for later.

Understanding W2 in Detail

All boxes are listed here and their information acts as a handy guide for you. There are two kinds of boxes on W2 form – i) Boxes with letters on left. ii) Boxes with numbers on right.

Boxes with letters

Box A – It contains social security number

Box B – It contains Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Box C – Name and address of employers including zip code.

Box D – This is a control number that recognizes your one of a kind Form W-2 archive in your boss’ records. This number is assigned by the organization’s payroll handling programming.

Box E – Your full name. If it changes, for example, in the event that you get hitched, request that your organization update this.

Box F – Address and Zip code.

Boxes with numbers

Box 1 – Your aggregate taxable pays for government income tax purposes. This will incorporate any tips and rewards you make.

Box 2 – The sum your boss has withheld for federal income tax. Fundamentally, it’s the amount of federal pay tax you’ve officially paid.

Box 3 – The aggregate sum of your pay which you’ll need to pay Social Security tax on.

Box 4 – The sum your boss has withheld for Social Security tax.

Box 5 – The aggregate sum of your pay on which you’ll need to pay Medicare tax.

Box 6 – The sum your manager has withheld for Medicare tax.

Box 7 – Tip salary you’ve reported to your boss.

Box 8 – Tips allocated to you by your boss. You’ll have to add this to your taxable wages in your tax return.

Box 9 – Box 9 was once used to report any progress of the Earned Income Credit, however progress earned income credit finished in 2010 so this is ought to be empty.

Box 10 – Box 10 reports any sums you may have been repaid for subordinate care expenses through an adaptable spending account, or the dollar estimation of dependent care services given to you by your boss.

Box 11 – This box reports any sums that were appropriated to you from your boss’ non-qualified conceded compensation plan or non-government Section 457 pension plan.

Box 12 –   This box applies to conceded pay and other pay. A few sorts of pay and advantages can be accounted for in Box 12.

  • Box 12 a – Uncollected Social Security or RRTA charge on tips. Include this amount as part of your total tax.
  • Box 12 b – Uncollected Medicare tax on tips. Include this amount as part of your total tax
  • Box 12 c – Taxable benefit of group term-life insurance over $50,000. This amount is already included as part of your taxable wages in Boxes 1, 3, and 5
  • Box 12 d – Non-taxable elective salary deferrals to a 401(k) or SIMPLE 401(k) retirement plan.

This are some of the basic information there are much advanced fields also in it.

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