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Learn More About W-2


What is a W-2?

Form W-2 reports earnings and withholdings for an employee of a business. A W-2 form must be provided to the employee (recipient), filed to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and filed to the state agency (where applicable).

Why do I file W-2?

The IRS and SSA require that all income is reported by businesses and individuals for tax and benefit purposes. Failure to do so can result in penalties.

Who needs to file W-2?

Employers must report wages paid to employees, income taxes withheld, Medicare and Social Security taxes and other applicable withholdings for the calendar year.

When do I file W-2?

W-2 forms are required to be mailed to the recipient by February 2, and e-filed with the SSA by Mar. 31. The paper filing deadline is February 28. State filing deadlines vary by state, view state W-2 deadlines.

W-2 Reporting Information

What to report Amount to report
Wages, tips and other compensation, including vacation allowances, bonuses, severance pay, certain moving expense payments, some kinds of travel allowances and third-party payments of sick pay for permanent, temporary and seasonal employees. Amounts vary, see official IRS instructions
Social Security and Medicare withholdings, income tax withholdings, and other applicable withholdings such as 401K and pre-tax health insurance. Amounts vary, see official IRS instructions