Form W-2

W-2 Overview

Employers are required to report taxable wages and related compensation, income taxes, and certain payroll deductions to employees, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the state of Minnesota, or one of the other states for which the University withholds tax. The wages are always reported for the year they are paid. W-2s are sent to employees by January 31 of the following year.

Requesting a Duplicate W-2

You can print copies of your Forms W-2 at any time. Go to the My Pay tab in MyU and click on View W-2/W-2C Forms near the bottom of the page. For W-2s from past years, click W-2 Reprint.

If you don't have easy access to MyU, complete the Request for Duplicate Form W-2 and forward it to the Human Resources Call Center at the address shown on the form.

How to Read Your W-2

Here are instructions on how to interpret the amounts shown in the boxes on your Form W-2, when comparing it to your pay statement.

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Boxes 1 and 2

Box 1 on your Form W-2 indicates your federal taxable wages and other compensation. Your year-to-date federal taxable wages are on your pay statement under the heading "Fed Taxable Gross." Your federal taxable wages are determined by the following calculation:

  • Add together your year-to-date (YTD) earnings, including taxable benefit earnings. This is found in the "Hours and Earnings" section of your pay statement. Note: The total YTD earnings line in that section of your pay statement does not include any taxable benefits listed in the earnings section. They must be added to your total YTD gross pay.
  • To that total, add any YTD taxable "Employer Paid Benefits" indicated by an asterisk (*) in that section of your pay statement.
  • Subtract all YTD "Before-Tax Deductions." The amount remaining is equal to your Federal Taxable Gross reported in Box 1 on your Form W-2.

Box 2 equals the year-to-date Fed Withholding as shown in the "Taxes" section of your pay statement.

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Boxes 3 and 4

Box 3 indicates your Social Security wages. To determine your Social Security wages, you must add your YTD gross earnings (including any taxable benefits listed in YTD earnings) and your YTD taxable Employer -Paid Benefits, indicated by an asterisk (*).

From that total, subtract the following applicable "Before-Tax Deductions." The remaining amount is the taxable Social Security wages reported in Box 3.

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Health Care Reimbursement Acct
  • Dependent Care Reimbursement
  • UMP Dependent Reimbursement
  • UMP Medical Reimbursement
  • Parking Before Tax
  • Metropass Before Tax

Box 4 equals the year-to-date Fed OASDI/EE taxes as shown in the "Taxes" section of your pay statement.

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Boxes 5 and 6

Box 5 indicates your Medicare wages. The calculation to determine your Medicare wages is the same as your Social Security wages, except there is no limit on Medicare wages.

To determine your Medicare wages, you must add your YTD gross earnings (including any taxable benefits listed in YTD earnings) and your YTD taxable Employer-Paid Benefits, indicated by an asterisk (*).

From that total, subtract the applicable "Before-Tax Deductions" listed above under Boxes 3 and 4. The remaining amount is the taxable Medicare wages reported in Box 5.

Box 6 equals your year-to-date Fed MED/EE taxes as shown in the "Taxes" section of your pay statement.

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Box 9

Blank. Reporting requirement expired.

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Box 10

The total of any benefits paid on your behalf under a dependent care assistance program.

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Box 11

Amounts that have been distributed to you from your employer's non-qualified deferred compensation plan (this amount is taxable). This isn't to be confused with amounts contributed by you. That shows up in box 12.

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Box 12

See the W-2 instructions on the IRS website for the complete explanation of the codes used in box 12.

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Box 13

Indicates if you:

  • Are a statutory employee (an employee whose earnings are subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes but not federal income tax withholding)
  • Participated in your employer's retirement plan during the year
  • Received sick pay under your employer's third-party insurance policy

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Boxes 15, 16, and 17

Box 15 indicates the state for which your wages and taxes in boxes 16 and 17 are being reported. If you had income taxes withheld for more than one state, the wages and taxes for each state will show separately.

To determine the total shown in Box 16, see instructions for Box 1: Wages, tips, other compensation. If you had wages for more than one state, the total of all state wages will equal your federal taxable gross as shown on your pay statement.

Box 17 equals the year-to-date state withholding as shown in the "Taxes" section on your pay statement.

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Earned Income Credit

Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a refundable IRS tax credit for certain workers. To determine if you're eligible to receive a federal tax refund due to EIC, read IRS Notice 797. An abbreviated EIC notice also appears on the back of Copy B of the Form W-2.

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For More Information

Contact the Office of Human Resources at 4-UOHR (612-624-8647, or 800-756-2363 in Greater Minnesota).

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