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W2 Frequently Asked Questions

The W-2 reports an employee's annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from his or her paycheck. 

Why don’t my wages, tips and other compensation in Box 1 match the year to date gross on my pay stub?

The wages in box 1 of your W2 reflect taxable wages only. This amount does not include tax deferred deductions (i.e. retirement, 403B annuities and 457 deferred compensation) or pre-tax deductions (ie. Medical insurance and parking). Box 1 also includes taxable reimbursements such as same day meal reimbursements, taxable moving expenses and taxable fringes that are not reflected in your payroll gross.

Where can I see the tax-deferred or pre-tax deductions?

Box 14 shows retirement, Choices and parking deductions. Other taxdeferred deductions are reflected in Box 12. Dependent care deductions are shown in Box 10.

Why don’t my wages in Box 1 match the Social Security wages in Box 3?

Pre-tax deductions are exempt from FICA (Social Security and Medicare), however tax-deferred deductions are subject to FICA tax. The amount in Box 3 includes retirement and annuity deductions. The amount in Box 1 does not included retirement and other qualified deferred compensation.


You were eligible for a FICA exemption due to tax treaty or you were a student enrolled in and attending at least 6 credits of courses during any given pay period in the year.

I want to adjust my withholding for next year what do I do?

You need to fill out a new W-4 and submit it to Human Resources/Personnel & Payroll. An online version of the form can be filled in and printed from your PayNortheast Employee Portal. You can sign in to your employee portal by visiting

How do I know what exemptions to claim?

Increasing the number of exemptions decreases the amount of withholding. Those with a Married status withhold at a lesser rate than those with a Single status. HR/P&P cannot tell you what exemptions to claim on your form W-4. T he IRS has a calculator that can help you determine the correct number of exemptions at the following url:,,id=96196,00.html If you need further help please download publication 919 from the IRS website or visit your local tax accountant.

Why don't I see the cost of my health coverage in Box 12 on my W2? 

According to the most recent IRS guidance, large employers who issue 250 or more W-2s for a calendar year are required to report the value of employer-sponsored health insurance. The reporting is not required for employers who issue fewer than 250 W-2s. In fact, if you’re a small employer, you’ve qualified for transition relief from this reporting requirement from tax year 2012 to date, until the IRS issues new guidance.

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