How Do You Fill Out a W2?

To fill out a W-2 form, start with the company and employee’s basic information. Calculate wages, tips and other income, then fill in allotted boxes for taxes withheld. Finish by inputting employee status information.

  1. Complete the company information

    Write the company’s unique tax identification number in box B and the company’s address in box C. Use payroll processing software to generate the control number for box D. Input the employer’s state tax identification number in box 15.

  2. Complete the employee’s personal information

    Write the employee’s social security number in box A, his name in box E and the address in box F.

  3. Input employee earnings

    Calculate the employee’s earnings for box 1, including wages, tips and other compensation. Other compensation includes taxable fringe benefits, such as group term life insurance.

  4. Fill in taxes withheld

    Calculate the amount of federal income tax withheld throughout the year, and input that amount in box 2.

  5. Fill in the Social Security information

    Calculate the total wages subject to Social Security tax, not including tips, and record this amount in box 3. The amount cannot be greater than $113,700. For box 4, input the amount of Social Security tax withheld for the year. For box 7, include tip income.

  6. Fill in the Medicare information

    Calculate all wages and tips eligible for Medicare taxation, which may be an amount greater than box 1, and fill in box 5. For box 6, fill in the tax withheld for Medicare.

  7. Complete boxes 8 and 9

    If applicable, input the amount of tips allocated to an employee by the company. Leave box 9 blank, as it is no longer in use, as of 2015.

  8. Calculate dependent care benefits

    If the employee receives dependent care benefits through the company, calculate the amount, and record it in box 10. This includes reimbursement for dependent care expenses, as well as services provided by the employer.

  9. Calculate retirement plan distributions

    If the employee distributes wages to a nonqualified retirement plan, calculate the amount, and input it to box 11.

  10. Complete box 12

    Calculate if the employee receives any of the coded benefits listed on the form. If so, input that amount with the correct codes to box 12.

  11. Check boxes according to employee status

    Evaluate if the employee is a statutory employee, meaning he does not pay income tax. If so, check that box. If the employee received third-party sick pay, check the second box. If the employee participates in the company’s retirement plan, check the third box.

  12. Input additional deductions

    If the employee had additional deductions not listed elsewhere on the form, include them in box 14.

  13. Complete the state information

    List the total wages eligible for state income taxation in box 16. In box 17, input the amount withheld for state income taxes.

  14. Fill in the location information

    If the employee’s location requires local taxation, input the amount of eligible income to box 18. This varies by state because some require individuals to pay school district, municipal or county taxes. If tax was withheld for this purpose, input that amount in box 19. For box 20, include the name of the locality for the boxes 18 and 19.