University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

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 31st of the following year.

Requesting a Duplicate W-2

Reissued (duplicate) Forms W-2 are available through Employee Self-Service under Self-Service Actions, Request a Reissued W-2. Employees can view and print their reissued W-2, or email it to an address you specify.   If Self-Service Actions aren't available, complete the Request for Duplicate W-2 form and forward it to Human Resources Call Center.

Request for Duplicate Form W-2 (pdf)


How to Read Your W-2

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

  • Box 1 – Wages,tips, other compensation
  • Box 2 – Federal income tax withheld
  • Box 3 – Social security wages
  • Box 4 – Social security tax withheld
  • Box 5 – Medicare wages and tips
  • Box 6 – Medicare tax withheld
  • Box 9 – Advance EIC payment (See more information)
  • Box 10 – Dependent care benefits
  • Box 11 – Nonqualified plans
  • Box 12 – List of codes
  • Box 13 – Retirement plan indicator and 3rd party sick pay
  • Boxes 15, 16, and 17 – State wages and taxes
  • Earned Income Credit – Information on the back of the W-2

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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 located on your pay statement under the heading FED TAXABLE GROSS. Your federal taxable wages are determined by the following calculation.

  • You must first add together your year-to-date (YTD) earnings, including taxable benefit earnings. This is found in the "Hours and Earnings" section of your pay stub. 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.
  • Lastly, 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. The Social Security wage limit for 2002 is $84,900. 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 following applicable "Before Tax Deductions". The remaining amount is the taxable Medicare wages reported in Box 5.

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

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

This box equals the total Advanced Earned Income Credit payments made to an eligible employee who submitted Form W-5 to Payroll Services for the calendar year. On the back of your W-2 form there is an explanation of who qualifies for Earned Income Credit.

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Box 10

This amount equals the total "before-tax" dependent care benefits paid. Any amount in excess of $5,000 is also included in boxes 1, 3, 5, and 16.

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Box 12

The following list explains the codes shown in box 12. Other before-tax deductions, including MSRS, Faculty Retirement Plan, and Medical, are not reported in box 12.

You may need this information to complete your tax return.

  • Code C — Cost of group term life insurance over $50,000, included in boxes 1, 3, 5, and 16. This amount is indicated by an asterisk (*) in the "Employer Paid Benefits" section of your pay statement.
  • Code D — Elective deferrals into 401(k) cash or deferred arrangement. This includes those enrolled in Thrift Savings Plan and UMP 401(k) Deferral Plan.
  • Code E — Elective deferrals into section 403(b) salary reduction agreement. This is the total paid to the Optional Retirement Plan.
  • Code G — Elective deferrals and employer contributions (including nonelective deferrals) to a section 457(b) deferred compensation plan.
  • Code J — Non-taxable sick pay. This amount is not included in taxable wages in Boxes 1, 3, or 5.
  • Code H — Section 501(c)(18)(D) tax-exempt organization plan. See "Adjusted Gross Income" in form 1040 instructions for how to deduct. This includes the GCIU Pension deduction.
  • Code P — Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to employees (not included in boxes 1 and 16).
  • Code W — Employer contributions to a health savings account (HSA).  This code shows any employer contributions (including amounts the employee elected to contribute using a section 125 (cafeteria) plan) to an HSA.
  • Code DD – Reports the cost of health insurance provided through your employer.

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Box 13

Box 13 is the Retirement Plan indicator. If the "Retirement Plan" box is checked, special limits may apply to the amount of traditional IRA contributions you may deduct. The Retirement Plan box will be checked if you are an active participant in the following plans:

  • Minnesota State Retirement System
  • Faculty Retirement Plan
  • Public Employees Retirement Association
  • Optional Retirement Plan (See Code E in box 12 above)
  • Thrift Savings Plan Federal (See Code D in box 12 above)
  • Section 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (See code G in box 12 above)
  • GCIU Local 1B Pension (See Code H in box 12 above)
  • GCIU Local 1M Pension (See Code H in box 12 above)
  • UMP Savings Plan (See Code D in box 12 above)

Third-party Sick Pay check box.

  • This box is checked if your Form W-2 taxable wages (Box 1) includes sick pay payments made by a third party.

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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. The University of Minnesota withholds income taxes for the state of Minnesota as well as the three reciprocal states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Dakota. 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.

IRS Earned Income Credit Notice 797 (pdf)

For More Information

Contact the Office of Human Resources Call Center at 612-625-2016.