As you enter the working world, there’s one word that you’ll likely come across a lot: taxes. As an employee, the W-2 form and taxes are two things that you won’t be able to avoid, so it’s worth getting to know the way taxes work.
What is a W-2?
A W-2 form is something that employers must send to their employees and the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) every year. All employed people in the United States will receive a W-2 form. Your taxes will be filed the year after the full calendar year has ended.
A W-2 form reports your taxable earnings, federal and state income taxes which have been withheld, Social Security earnings, and information on other benefits and deductions. Your employer will provide all the information on the form and will send it to you before the end of January.
What do I do with the W-2?
When you receive your W-2 form, check information on the form to insure it is correct. You must then submit the form to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the end of February. Even if you don’t work for your employer for the entire year, you will still get a W-2 form. You may be required to fill out your form by computer or via paper copy.
When you prepare your individual tax return, which should be sent to the IRS by April, the withholding amount on the W-2 is taken off any tax that you owe. If too much income was withheld during the year, then you may be able to get a tax refund and get money back!
As an employee, you will receive three copies of the W-2 – one for your records, one for your federal tax return, and one for your state tax return. Even if you don’t receive a W-2 form, you are still legally required to report your salary, wages and tips to the IRS.