What’s a W-2 and Why Do I Need to Know About It?

Companies use W-2s to tell the IRS the earnings, deductions, and withholdings for each of their full-time employees. You’ll need to provide each employee with a copy of the form and submit all your W-2s to the Social Security Administration by January 31st, 2018.

Do I need to file a W-2?

If you’re an employer, you need to file W-2s for each one of your employees. Your team will then use the W-2 copies of the form to file their taxes.

What you need on hand when you’re ready to file

You’ll need your Employer ID Number (FEIN), company name, and company address. Once you have that down, you’ll need each employee’s full name, address, and Social Security number. You’ll also need to have the total amounts of everything you paid and withheld in taxes for each person on your team. Then visit the SSA website to complete your filing.

How to fill it out

  • Enter your Employer ID Number, company name, and company address
  • Enter your employee’s name, address, and Social Security number
  • Enter the wages, tips, and other compensation you paid each employee last year
  • Enter the separate amounts of Social Security wages, Medicare wages and tips, and Social Security tips
  • Enter the totals for nonqualified plans, each type of tax withheld, and any tips earned
  • For boxes 12-14, be sure to read the IRS instructions on how to report these items

Craving more info? It’s important to get your W-2s right. Reach out to a tax specialist or CPA if you have any lingering questions.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as tax advice. Since tax rules may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a CPA or tax advisor for advice specific to your business.