How to fill out a Form W-2: All you need to know

If you were wondering what the Form W-2 is for, in this article we will tell you all the details. The form W-2 is one of the most important tax documents to be filed by certain U.S. citizens.

How to fill out a Form W-2: All you need to know

This form has the particularity that it is not to be completed by the taxpayers, but by the employers. If you are an employer and you do not know how to complete this document, or you have doubts about it, do not worry, here you will find all the answers to your questions.

What is the form W-2 and what is it for?

As we mentioned before, the form W-2 is used to declare taxes and wages on behalf of the employer. That is, if you are an employer, you must complete this document to show the money you have paid to your employees throughout the year. In addition, the form identifies all withholding taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

When should I complete the form W-2?

As an employer, you must complete this form, however, not all employers are required to complete this form. A clear example of this is self-employed individuals and independent contractors.

If you belong to either of these two groups, you must complete the 1099 form, which you can download directly by clicking here.

When to download and submit the form W-2?


To download the form W-2, you must verify that your employees earn more than $600 a year, or if you withheld a certain amount of money for Social Security or Medicare. This form must be printed and submitted by the IRS deadline of January 31 of each year. To download the form W-2 , simply click here.

Employers are likely to send these forms through the mail, although they can also do so from the Internet by locating the online payment system. If you can’t find it, go to the company’s human resources program. There, you will see the tab that contains all the forms related to taxes and, of course, you will be able to find the form W-2.

IMPORTANT: The advantage of this online process is that you have a few more days after January 31 to complete the document.


If you are an employee and you do not get the form W-2, you should request it from your employer as soon as possible. If by Valentine’s Day (February 14) you still have not received the document, you should contact the IRS to solve this problem.

How to fill out the form W-2: Step by Step

If you are an employer and you do not know how to fill out the form W-2, do not worry, below we will explain how to do it. After downloading the form, you must fill in the boxes on the right with the employee’s and employer’s information.

a) Enter the Employee’s Social Security Number. You will see it at the top and, below, you must enter the employer’s information.

b) Employer identification number (EIN).

c) Enter your name and indicate the employee’s tax address.

d) Enter your control number, which can be used for payroll related procedures.

e) Enter the employee’s name.

f) Fill in the employee’s address.

How to fill out a Form W-2: All you need to know

Types of boxes

On the right side of the form, you will see a numerical list where you must fill in the data according to each box. Let’s see, below, what you should fill in according to boxes 1-10, 11-14 and 15-20.

Boxes 1-10

  • Box 1: Employee’s annual income (wages and tips). Also, enter all taxes you have withheld. In box number 7, you should enter the tips received by the employee, while in box number 8, you should enter the income received by the employee. In this section, the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is not valid.
  • Boxes 2, 4 and 6: This part is dedicated to the Medicare, Social Security and federal income taxes that you have contributed to the Administration during the current fiscal year.
  • Box 3: Here, you must complete the income taxed for Social Security. In this part, you should not include tips, since only taxable income without deductions is requested.
  • Box 5: You must enter Medicare wages and tips.
  • Box 9: Here you should not complete anything and leave the box blank.
  • Box 10: In case the employee uses childcare expenses.

Boxes 11 – 14

  • Box 11: Enter the dollar amount from the employee’s nonqualified retirement plan, or if withdrawing money from his or her 457(b) plan.
  • Box 12: This part is a little more complex, as you must enter different codes, depending on the additional payments and benefits received by the employer. In total, there are 26 codes ranging from A to Z, and AA to EE on the other side of the form, if necessary.
  • Box 13: Complete the 3 boxes requested if the worker has a retirement plan, third party sick pay, and is a legal worker.

FACT: Independent contractors, and salespersons of a full-time company, are statutory employees.

  • Box 14: In this box you can complete any deductions that you have not previously reported, such as assistance for union dues, tuition, etc.

Boxes 15 – 20

  • Box 15: Employer’s state ID number.
  • Box 16: State wages.
  • Box 17: State income tax.
  • Box 18: Here, you must complete with income for local taxation.
  • Box 19: Fill in the amount of local withholding taxes.
  • Box 20: Finally, you must enter the specific name of the locality of such local taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many forms W-2 do I need to file?

In total, employers must submit six copies of W-2 Form.

  • 3 (three) copies are given to the employee to file on the tax return.
  • 1 (one) copy for the employer (Copy D).
  • 2 (two) copies for the State.

More information

If you want to know how to verify yout identity to get a refund, you can clic here. We have all the information that you need about the IRS offices in the diferents states of the U.S, you just have to enter this link and look for your location to find IRS offices close to you.