2019 Form W-2 Filing Instructions

Line by Line Instructions on Form W-2 Boxes

What is the purpose of the W-2 Form?

If you own and operate a business with employees, you will need to file Form W-2 with SSA and must send a copy of Form W2 to each employee on or before January 31, every year. Even you have to file Form W-2 with the State.

Form W-2 is a wage tax form to report the gross wages paid to employees and the taxes (social security, income, and Medicare) withheld from the employees to the SSA (Social Security Administration).

Form W-2 Boxes: Line by Line Instructions

  • Box1- Wages, tips, other compensation

    Enter the total taxable wages, tips, prizes, bonuses, and other compensation that you paid to your employee for the year. Box 1 does not include any tax benefits such as savings contributions to a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or health insurance.

  • Box2- Federal income tax withheld

    Enter the total federal income tax that was withheld from your employee's wages for the year.

  • Box3- Social security wages

    Enter the total wages paid subject to the employee Social Security tax. For the 2019 tax year, the Social Security tax is assessed on wages up to $132,900.

  • Box4- Social security tax withheld

    Enter the total employee social security tax (not employer share) withheld, including social security tax on tips. For 2019, the amount should not exceed $8,239.80 ($132,900 × 6.2%). Box 4 should not be more than $8,239.80.

  • Box5- Medicare wages and tips

    Enter the employees’ wages and tips subject to Medicare tax. There is no maximum wage base for Medicare.

  • Box6- Medicare tax withheld

    Enter the total amount of Medicare tax withheld. This amount includes:

    • 1.45% Medicare tax withheld on all Medicare wages and tips shown in Box 5
    • 0.9% Additional Medicare tax on any FICA or RRTA compensation paid above $200,000

    Include only the tax withheld for 2019 wages and tips, do not include employer share.

  • Box7- Social security tips

    Enter any tips the employee reported to the employer. The total of boxes 3 and 7 should not be more than $132,900 (for 2019).

  • Box8- Allocated tips (not applicable to Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI)

    Enter any tips that were allocated to the employee. Allocated tips amount is not included in Boxes 1, 3, 5, or 7.

  • Box9- Verification Code

    Enter the 16 digits long verification code in the box 9 before sending it to the IRS. The code was used when e-filing a tax return.

  • Box10- Dependent care benefits (not applicable to Forms W-2AS, W-2CM, W-2GU, or W-2VI)

    Enter the total dependent care benefits provided under a dependent care assistance program. If the amount over $5,000 is also included in Box 1.

  • Box11- Nonqualified plans

    Enter the total amount distributed to employees from the employer’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan or non-government Section 457 pension plan. The amount in Box 11 is included in Box 1 as taxable wages.

  • Box12- Codes

    Codes Description
    A Enter the code "A" and amount in Box 12 of Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on employee tips.
    B Enter the code "B" and amount in Box 12 of Uncollected Medicare tax on employee tips.
    C Taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000.
    D Enter the code "D" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a 401(k) plan and check the retirement plan box in Box 13.
    E Enter the code "E" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a 403(b) plan and check the retirement plan box in Box 13.
    F Enter the the code "F" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a 408(k)(6)retirement plan, including a Simplified Employee Pension plan (SEP).
    G Enter the code "G" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a 457(b) plan.(Elective deferrals and employer contributions to a section 457(b) deferred compensation plan).
    H Enter the code "H" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a 501(c)(18)(D) plan. (Elective deferrals to a section 501(c)(18)(D) tax-exempt organization plan).
    J Non-taxable sick pay.
    K 20% excise tax on excess golden parachute payments. (Excess golden parachute payments apply to employees of big corporations who are undergoing mergers).
    L Substantiated employee business expense reimbursements.Include this in Box 12 if an employee’s business expenses are nontaxable.
    M Enter the code "M" and amount in Box 12 of Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000. (only applies to former employees).
    N Enter the code "N" and amount in Box 12 of Uncollected Medicare tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (but not Additional Medicare Tax;only applies to former employees).
    P Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces (not included in box 1, 3, or 5).
    Q Nontaxable combat pay (only for military personnel).
    R Enter the amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to an Archer MSA. Also need to report amounts not excluded in employee’s gross pay in Boxes 1, 3, and 5.
    S Enter the Employee contribution amount they have taken out of their paychecks in Box 12 of 408(p) SIMPLE plan. Also, enter the amount in Boxes 3 and 5, as well as check the retirement plan box in Box 13.
    T Enter the amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a adoption benefit. Also, enter the amount in Boxes 3 and 5.
    V Income from the exercise of nonstatutory stock options. (Report the difference between the fair market value and the price an employee paid for a nonstatutory stock in Box 12, as well as in Boxes 1, 3, and 5)
    W Company contributions (including employee contributions through a cafeteria plan) to an employee's health savings account (HSA). Also, enter the contributions in Box 1.
    Y Deferrals under section 409A on a nonqualified deferred compensation plan.
    Z Income under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan that fails to satisfy section 409A. This amount is subject to an additional 20% tax plus interest.
    AA Enter the code "AA" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a Designated Roth contributions under a section 401(k) plan and check the retirement plan box in Box 13.
    BB Enter the code "BB" and amount in Box 12, if Employee contributed to a Designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan and check the retirement plan box in Box 13.
    DD Enter the code "DD" and amount of employer-sponsored health coverage in Box 12.
    EE Include a Designated Roth contributions under a governmental section 457(b) plan in Box 12 as well as Boxes 1,3 and 5.
    FF Permitted benefits under a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement for singles $5,250 and $10,600 for families.
    GG Income from qualified equity grants under section 83(i).
    HH Aggregate deferrals under section 83(i).
  • Box13- Checkboxes

    • If the “Retirement plan” box is checked, special limits can apply to the amount of traditional IRA contributions that can be deducted.
    • If the “Statutory Employee” box is checked, Box 1 will be carried to Form 1040 Schedule C.
    • If the “Third-party sick pay” box is checked, Sick pay is not included in Box 1 wages although it's usually subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • Box14- Other

    Employers use this box 14 to report information such as:

    • State disability insurance taxes withheld
    • Union dues
    • Uniform payments
    • Health insurance premiums deducted
    • Nontaxable income
    • Educational assistance payments
    • A member of the clergy’s parsonage allowance and utilities
    • Charitable contributions made through payroll deduction
  • Box15- State Information

    Report the employer's state and state tax identification number

  • Box16- State wages, tips, Information

    Report the total amount of taxable wages employees earned in that state.

  • Box17- State income tax

    Report the total amount of state income taxes withheld from the paychecks for the wages reported in Box 16.

  • Box18- Local wages, tips, etc

    Report the total amount of wages subject to local, or city income taxes.

  • Box19- Local income tax

    Report the total amount of taxes withheld from wages for local, or city income taxes.

  • Box20- Locality name

    Provide information on your locality name for which the tax is being paid.

  • General Instruction for Boxes 15 to 20

    This box can be used to report wages and taxes for two states or localities. Enter each state or local information in a separate line. In case, if reporting for more than two-state or localities, prepare and file another Form W-2.

What are the W-2 Copies that are available?

An employer requires to prepare the following 6 copies of Form W-2 for each employee.

  • Copy A - is sent to the SSA, E-file to the Social Security Administratione
  • Copy B - For Employee, The employee can file this copy with their federal income tax return
  • Copy C - For Employee to keep for their personal records
  • Copy D - For Employer, Employers can generate all the above mentioned W-2 copies with TaxBandits
  • Copy 1 - to be filed with State, City, or Local Tax Department, If required
  • Copy 2 - For Employee’s, the Employee will file this copy with their State, City, or Local Income Tax Return
  • no results

Make your Tax Filings hassle Free.
Choose TaxBandits for 2019 Form W-2 Filing

TaxBandits, an IRS authorized W-2 e-file provider will simplify all your tax filing needs. TaxBandits is e-filing millions and millions of Forms every year with the IRS and the state and reducing the filing burdens of businesses of all sizes.

Switch to TaxBandits

Experience the smooth and quick processing of your W-2 Forms. File your forms with the Federal, State and let us distribute W-2 copies to your employees by both the postal mail and online delivery.

And we make your filing error-free with our data validation process that includes TIN matching, IRS business rule validation, and USPS address validation.

Success Starts with TaxBandits

The Smart Business Owners Choice