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What is a W2 Form?
Form W-2 is a document required by the IRS for employers to report wage and salary information of employees, as well as the amount of federal, state, and other taxes withheld from an employee’s paycheck. It may also include employer-provided benefits like health insurance, adoption and dependent care assistance, health savings account contributions, and more.
For Employers: In addition to the IRS requirements above, employers also need to file a copy of the W-2 with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the end of February.
For employees: Employees need this form to file their federal and state taxes. Without it, the IRS will not accept an individual’s income tax return as valid. If you worked as an employee during a given year, you should receive a W-2 from your employer near the beginning of the following year and no later than January 31, which is crucial for preparing your tax return.
Take the Guesswork out of W-2 Form Creation
As a business owner during tax season, in addition to doing your personal and corporate 1040s, you also need to distribute information to your employees via W2 forms – so that they can complete their tax forms.
There’s no need to get bogged down or discouraged by this paperwork, though.
Our fillable forms make it simple to generate and print out W-2 forms for your employees. All you need is basic employment and salary information. Our generator tool calculates the state and federal tax withholdings for you automatically.
W-2 in a Nutshell
W2 is an IRS form employers that are required to complete and distribute to their employees by January 31 of each calendar year.
Employers also need to file a copy of the form with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the end of February. The SSA uses that information to determine future social security, disability, and Medicare benefits.
W-2 forms are different from two other tax forms they are sometimes confused with, W-9 and 1099 MISC forms. A W-9 form is the form employers have independent contractors fill out at the time of hire. That form contains all the information an employer needs to complete IRS 1099 MISC forms.
The 1099 MISC form is the equivalent of a W-2 form for independent contractors. It reports the amount a contractor earned in a given tax year.
Why do you need to use the W-2 Form?
As an employer, you need a W-2 Form to inform the government how much you have paid to and withheld from each employee. The Form also provides the employee with information that is included in his or her income tax form. For example, how much you have added to your retirement plan, your social security and medical earnings, and even any amount you received for your health insurance. It gives the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service a clear picture of your income tax returns.
When do you need the W-2 Form?
Your employers (current or former) are generally required to send you the W-2 Form for the previous year by the end of the January. If you don’t have one or can’t get it from your previous employees, you will need to create a W-2 form by yourself.
Are there any deadlines or times when this form is needed?
As an employer, you must complete and distribute Form W-2 to employees by January 31. Form W-2, along with Form W-3, should also be filed with Social Security Administration (SSA) by January 31. This deadline applies to both e-filing as well as mail submissions. If you file after the deadline, it may result in late filing penalties. However, if January 31 falls on a weekend or any national holiday, the deadline will be shifted to the next business day.
What are the main things that go on a W-2 Form?
On a W-2 Form you need to include standard information about your employee and business:
- You Business Name, Adress, and State Tax ID Number
- Employees Name, Address, and Social Security Number
- Total wages, Social Security or other compensation
What are the most common mistakes to avoid?
Mistakes made on Form W-2 can cause several confusions and headaches both for employers and employees, even some of which an employer can be penalized for. The most common mistakes to avoid on W-2 Form include:
- Using a form from the wrong year
- Incorrect Employee Names and Social Security Numbers
- Using Titles and Abbreviations in Name Fields
- Missing the Filing Deadlines
- Failing to use Black Ink
- Missing Employer’s Identification Number (EIN)
- Failure to Complete the “Retirement Pan or Medicare Wage” Block
Do I need to use a lawyer, accountant, or attorney to help me?
When it comes to taxes, you can do it yourself. Most often, businesses rely on tax professionals like lawyers or legal attorneys to take care of the tedious details of tax and other legal needs. But these legal entities can cost you much. You can save your time, stress as well as money by downloading the form online. There are several web-based software that allows you to download W-2 forms easily and safely. If you opt to access your W-2 online, you have to download and print your own copies. It’s a simple and easier process that eliminates the waiting time for paper copies.
Why use our W-2 Form generator?
Our tool is the simplest, easiest, and the most advanced W-2 generator tool that can help you create a W-2 Form in less than 2 minutes. It will be automatically filled with correct calculations and ready to be sent to your employees. Our tool has a subscription plan so you can create unlimited W-2 forms at a low cost.
Form W-2 FAQs
What is an IRS Form W-2?
As an employee, you will receive a W2 tax form from your employer , which is a crucial document for your tax records. This form reports to the IRS the total amount you were paid during the year and how much was withheld from your salary including Social Security, Medicare taxes, or any other contributions for that year. Your employer is responsible for creating and filing the W2 tax forms and must provide you with a copy. You will also use this form when preparing and filing your own tax returns.
Who needs a W-2 tax from?
Form W-2 is needed by employees whose employers have withheld some amount from their salary for tax purposes. They will need to attach it to their own tax returns when they file them.
Employers also need to make and file one W2 for every employee they paid more than $600 or its equivalent or from whose salaries they have withheld amounts for taxes.
What are the deadlines for filing W-2?
To ensure timely filing of your W-2 forms, keep these critical dates in mind:
- January 31 - The deadline to provide your employees with their W2 copies.
- January 31 - The deadline for employers to file the paper copy of form W2 (Copy A). Take note that Form W3, which summarizes the W2 information, must also be filed.
- January 31 - The deadline for employers to electronically submit Copy A of Form W-2.
What are the main things that go on a Form W-2?
It mainly contains the following:
- Details to identify the employer and the employee such as identification number;
- How much the employer has paid to the employee;
- The amount that the employer has withheld from the employee's salary for purposes such as
- Medicare tax
- Federal income tax withheld
- Charitable contributions
- Payroll taxes
How to create W-2 for employees?
To make a W-2 for employees, you can either download and print the W-2 Form from the IRS website or use a W-2 Form generator from a reputable W2 form-maker such as FormPros.
With FormPros, no PDF editing software is required. Just answer a few simple questions about employer and employee, then download, print, and mail the copies.
- For companies with 250 employees and below, W2 Form filing can be filled out by hand and submitted via mail.
- For companies above 250, the W2 Form must be done electronically.
Can I create a W-2 online?
Yes, you can create a W-2 form for your employees online. Our W-2 generator is perfect for this, as we’ll guide you through the steps to make sure you don’t miss anything. After answering a few questions, you’ll only need to download, print and file filled copy of the form by mail. Consult IRS website if you want to file Form W-2 electronically.
Where can I get a copy of my W-2?
You can get it from your employer who is actually required to give you a copies every year to be filed with your Federal and State tax return, as well as a copy for your personal record keeping. Sometimes employers have payroll providers. If your employer has one and is unable to give you a copy of your W-2, the payroll provider might.
Can you get another W-2 if you lost it?
Yes, you can get another W2 if you lost it - simply ask your employer for another copy. The employer is required to provide it to you. If you your employer fails to give you one and it’s past January 31st, you can ask IRS for help in compelling your employer to do so. You can also get copies of older W-2 tax forms you submitted with your tax return for previous years from the IRS website.
How to get W2 from your previous employer?
To obtain your W-2 Form from your previous employer, follow these steps:
- Reach out to your previous employer: Contact the HR or payroll department of your previous employer because they are typically responsible for issuing W-2 forms. Provide them with your contact details and mailing address where they can send the W2 form.
- Request for a digital copy: If the employer has an online system for payroll and tax documents, ask if you can access your W-2 electronically.
- Contact the IRS: If you still haven’t received your W-2 after reaching out to your employer, you may contact the IRS for assistance after February 15th. You'll need to provide your personal information, the employer's details, and the estimated wages and taxes withheld.
How can I get a copy of my W2 online?
- Check with your employer: Your former employer may have an online portal where past tax documents are stored. Contact them and ask if you can access your old W-2 electronically.
- IRS "Get Transcript" tool: Visit the IRS website and use the "Get Transcript" tool. You can request a "Wage and Income Transcript" that will show data from your W-2s for the past 10 years. Note that this transcript will not be an actual copy of your W-2, but it will have the necessary information.
- Tax preparation services: Some online tax preparation services may keep records of your past filings if you've used them before. Log into your account to see if your old W-2s are available.
How to find Employer Identification Number (EIN) without W2?
- Contact your employer: Reach out to your employer's HR or payroll department directly and request the EIN. This is often the simplest and quickest way to get the information.
- See your past W2 forms: If you've filed taxes in previous years and used your employer's EIN, this number should be on those documents. Look at your prior year's tax return if you've filed electronically or kept copies.
- Look at other tax forms: If you've received other tax-related documents from your employer, such as Form 1099 or end-of-year pay stubs, the EIN might be listed there.
What is Adjusted Gross Income on W2?
As an employee, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Net Income is calculated by subtracting the income adjustments from your total gross income. Gross income includes your wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions, and other allowable deductions.