W-2 Frequently Asked Questions
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|
|=||Social Security Taxable Gross (Box 3 and Box 5*)|
|=||Federal and State Taxable Gross (Box 1 and 16)
*see explanation in the following question.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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, 2019. 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 email@example.com.
- Form 1098-T: All questions pertaining to Form 1098-T (education related expenses paid by students to the University Cashier) should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com.
- Form 1095-C: All All questions pertaining to Form 1095-C (employer-provided health insurance offer and coverage) should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.