W-2 Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I access my W-2 electronically?
- Information and instructions about how to access your W-2 form is available on the Online Employee Tax Forms website.
- What should I do if I select the W-2 link and nothing happens?
- A common cause of this issue is pop up blockers being enabled on your browser.
- I am a former university employee. Can I access my W-2 online?
- Former employees can access W-2s via a guest account in ConnectCarolina.
- How do I update my home address so that it is correct on my W-2?
- Home address changes should be made as soon as possible after your address changes and no later than early January. To update your address, log into SelfService in ConnectCarolina and choose “Update Personal Information” to update your home address.
- What should I do if the address listed for me on my W-2 is incorrect?
- It is okay to submit a W-2 with your tax return in which the mailing address printed on the W-2 does not reflect your home address. Therefore, Payroll Services does not re-issue or issue an amended form (i.e, W-2c – Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) due to an incorrect address. However, we recommend that you contact your HR Officer to have your address corrected in ConnectCarolina.
- What is a W-2 form and when should I receive it?
- A W-2 reports all taxable wages you received from UNC-CH during the calendar year and all taxes withheld from those wages. The form serves as an annual statement that enables you to file your personal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as well as state and local authorities. W-2 forms only report on wages paid during the calendar year, regardless of when they were earned. The University provides electronic W-2 forms to all employees in January of each year.
- Why do the wages reported on my W-2 not match my true earnings?
- Due to government regulations, pre-tax deductions, retirement and annuity contributions deducted from your paycheck may not be included in wages subject to taxes. If you have none of these deductions or contributions on your paycheck, your W-2 wages will equal your true gross wages.
Following is a wage base table showing how gross wages for Boxes 1, 3, 5 and 16 on your W-2 are calculated.
Actual Gross Wages + Non-Wage Compensation (awards, courtesy cars, athletic meals, gift certificates, etc.) = True Wage Base – Pre-tax insurances = Social Security Taxable Gross (Box 3 and Box 5*) – Retirement – Annuities = Federal and State Taxable Gross (Box 1 and 16)
*see explanation in the following question.
- Why are there four wage amounts listed on my W-2 form, and why are they different amounts?
- Government regulations determine how each type of wages are reported and taxed by the various federal and state agencies. Your W-2 will show one or more of the following types of wages:
- Box 1 – Wages, Tips, Other Compensation
Wages subject to Federal income tax.
- Box 3 – Social Security Wages
Wages that are subject to Social Security tax.
- Box 5 – Medicare Wages and Tips
Wages subject to Medicare taxes.
*Your gross wages for Social Security and Medicare are reduced by “pre-tax” payroll deductions for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, accidental death and disability insurance, NC Flex (dependent care and medical), Health Care Plus and also for pre-tax parking. If your Social Security wages exceeded $128,400, Social Security tax was withheld on the first $128,400 only, since this is the maximum amount from which Social Security taxes could be withheld for 2018. Medicare has no maximum.
- Box 16 – State Wages, Tips, Etc.
Wages subject to State income tax.
Your gross wages for federal and state taxes are reduced by the same “pre-tax” payroll deductions as Social Security and Medicare. In addition, deductions for retirement and deferred compensation (annuities) contributions are also deducted.
- Box 1 – Wages, Tips, Other Compensation
- What do the letters “D”, “E”, “G”, “AA” and “BB” in Box 12 reflect?
- UNC employees may participate in five types of tax deferred annuity programs – Code Section 401(k), Roth 401(k), 403(b), Roth 403(b) and 457. IRS codes are explained on the back of W-2 Form, Copy 2 (File with State, City, and Local Taxes) and C (Employee’s Record.) Other important information is also documented there. For those employees who opted to print their own Form W-2 via ConnectCarolina Employee Self Service, the information that is usually on the back of the Form W-2 is located at the link titled “Filing Instructions.”
- What is the amount reported with the letter “C” in Box 12 of W-2 Form?
- Code “C” is reporting the taxable cost of the group-term life insurance over $50,000. This amount is taxable and is included in boxes 1, 3, 5 and 16.
- What is the amount reported with the letter “DD” in Box 12 of my W-2 Form?
- Code “DD” indicates the total cost of your employer-sponsored health plan. This amount is not taxable. The purpose is to provide employees with useful and comparable consumer information on the cost of their health care coverage.
- What does the “Gift” description in box 14 mean?
- The “Gift” description in box 14 stands for Awards, Gifts and/or Stipends (which is shortened to accommodate the 10-character limit). The amount shown as “Gift” in box 14 is only informational and is also included in your box 1 amount.
- If I did not have any taxes withheld last year, do I still need to file an income tax return?
- The amount of taxes withheld does not determine whether or not you should file a tax return. The requirement to file a return is based primarily on the amount earned, citizenship status, dependency status and age. Refer to the section titled “Do You Have to File?” in the federal tax Form 1040, Form 1040EZ, or Form 1040NR instructions for information. The forms are available at your local IRS and NC Department of Revenue offices and on their websites shown below. The University does not stock these individual tax forms. You may also call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-1040 from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. at all local time zones for help in determining your filing status.
- Where can I get information about income taxation or request tax return forms?
- There are several different state and national sources:
- What is the EIC and how do I find out if I qualify?
- EIC is an acronym for Earned Income Credit. You may also see it called ‘EITC’ for Earned Income Tax Credit. EIC is a refundable federal tax credit for working individuals who do not earn much money. If eligible, the tax credit can be claimed when you file your income tax return (EIC). The EIC is not available to nonresident alien individuals or to students who are exempt from social security taxes.
For more detailed information on the EIC:
- Use the interactive EITC Assistant to show you if you qualify
- Call the IRS toll free at 1-800-TAX-1040
- Visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site for free help and tax preparation
- Access Publication 962 on the IRS website. (Both English and Spanish editions are available.)
- I worked more than one job at UNC-Chapel Hill this calendar year. Do I get a W-2 form for each job that I was paid for during the past calendar year?
- No, you will receive a single W-2 that includes the combined wages and taxes for all jobs paid through Payroll Services at UNC-Chapel Hill.
- Can you fax my W-2 to me?
- No, due to security issues we do not fax W-2s.
- What if I lose my paper W-2 or I don’t receive it?
- Follow these steps:
- Log in to ConnectCarolina to retrieve a PDF version of your W-2. Go to SelfService>View W-2/W-2c Forms. Click on link under Year End Form and verify through 2-Step to retrieve your W-2. For more information on 2-Step Verification, see resources on the Finance website and ConnectCarolina Info website.
- Foreign National Employees or Students with Nonresident Tax Status: If a Foreign National employee used a tax treaty to exempt some or all of their wages from federal and state withholding taxes, these amounts will be reported on a Form 1042-S, “Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding.” The individual will receive a Form 1042-S wage/tax statement from the Payroll Services prior to March 15. Some individuals will receive both Forms W-2 and 1042-S.
- Form 1099-MISC: All questions concerning Form 1099-MISC (for non-payroll related payments paid to individuals through Accounts Payable) should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Form 1098-T: All questions pertaining to Form 1098-T (education related expenses paid by students to the University Cashier) should be addressed to email@example.com.
- Form 1098-E: All questions pertaining to Form 1098-E (student loan interest paid by student borrowers to the University Cashier) should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Form 1095-C: All All questions pertaining to Form 1095-C (employer-provided health insurance offer and coverage) should be addressed to email@example.com.
- What are the benefits of receiving an electronic W-2? Why should I opt out of receiving a paper W-2?
- Obtaining your W-2 electronically means you can access it faster and download at your convenience (24 hours a day, seven days a week). By accessing it electronically, you avoid having information, like your Social Security number, handled by other people.
Additionally, employees are encouraged to opt out of receiving paper W-2s as part of an effort to support the University’s commitment to sustainability and reduce costs.
- How do I opt-out of receiving a paper W-2?
- Refer to the job aid for How to Opt Out of Receiving Paper W-2s.
- Can the University opt out of a paper W-2 on my behalf?
- No, your action is required. The University cannot opt any employees out of receiving paper W-2s. The University, like other employers, must comply with specific Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations (26 CFR 31.6051-1) to issue W-2s electronically, and employees must provide their consent to receive their W-2 electronically instead of as a paper copy.
- Do I need to opt out of receiving a paper W-2 every year?
- No. Once you opt out of receiving a paper W-2, the paperless status will remain in place for future years until/unless you withdraw your consent or are otherwise notified by the University of a change in process. The exception is when your employment ends.
- Will I get a paper W-2 form if I consent to receive my W-2 form electronically?
- No. If employee consent is given to receive their Form W-2 electronically, a paper copy will not be sent. If you already consented to paperless W-2 and changed your mind, you can withdraw your consent up to the designated deadline each tax year (typically early- to mid-January).
- Can I withdraw consent to receive an electronic W-2 after I have consented?
- Yes, an employee may withdraw his or her consent at any time. Consent withdrawn by employees is effective for W-2s not yet issued and does not apply to previously issued W-2s. To withdraw your consent, go into ConnectCarolina Self Service, click on W-2/W-2c Consent, check the box to withdraw your consent to receive electronic W-2s, and then click Submit.
- Is there a deadline for opting out of my W-2?
- Consenting to electronic W-2 early is best, and an available option now for the 2019 tax year! Otherwise, you will need to consent to receiving your electronic W-2 by early January.