A brief overview of the W-2 tax form

The amount of taxes withheld from the paycheck for a financial year is used to file federal and state taxes. This amount is shown in W-2 forms.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs employers to mention the salary, wage details, and other information of their employees on the W-2 tax forms. This tax form also mentions information about all the federal, state, and any other taxes that are withheld from your paycheck. All the details in your W-2 form are extremely important when your preparing for filing the returns. This is crucial for the employee. To make sure that you do not miss out on the filing of this tax form, the IRS ensures that they send the form to the employer not later than January 31st, following the close of the financial year that is on December 31st.

Only an employee can receive the W-2 tax form. In case you are self-employed or an independent contractor, you would get the statements of earnings on Form 1099 and not receive the W-2 form.

The W-2 form is bifurcated into different boxes that shows numerous items that are related to your income. The first box is for the annual salary payments and wage along with the information regarding the federal tax that is being withheld in the second box.

It is to be noted here that just a part of your income is subject to the Social Security tax. The third box of the form reports the amount that is less than your total income for the financial year. The other parts of W-2 tax forms include Social Security tax, Medicare taxes that are pending, and other information with respect to the employees’ state income tax that is being withheld.

The identifying information segment of the W-2 tax forms is a vital section that can be noted by the IRS in cases where your reported income and information on W-2 tax forms do not match. Moreover, the accuracy of the reported income is checked by matching the payments stated with the corporate tax return policy of your employer. Also, the IRS receives a copy of the W-2 tax forms and are aware how much tax you owe. So, in case your name and Social Security number on your tax forms is inaccurate, make sure to immediately report the same and ask your employer to correct it.

Remember when you are filing your tax returns, a copy of W-2 tax forms must always be attached. In case you are e-filing your returns then the information of your W-2 is sent with the tax return; however, if you are filing the return by mail, you will need to place a hard copy of the W-2 tax form with your return.

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