For most American taxpayers, the W-2 signals the start of tax season.
But don’t rush off to file your tax return just yet.
Make sure the information on your W-2 is correct. First, take a quick look at your W-2. Is your name spelled correctly? Is your Social Security number accurate? It’s a good idea to verify your wage amount as well. Pull your year’s paystubs. Mistakes are easy to make, so it never hurts to double-check.
If any information on your W-2 is incorrect, your employer will have to fix it.
Keep your W-2 in a safe place until you’re ready to begin filing your tax return. Form W-2 is your Wage and Tax Statement. It shows the wages you earned for the year and the amount of taxes you paid. You’ll use the information on this form to file your tax return.
What to do with copies of your W-2. Be sure to keep the last copy for your records. Keep all physical copies of your W-2 in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to scan and keep a digital copy in a secure online folder or on your computer so that they are always easy to access.
Know your W-2 contains much more than just your income. For example, your W-2 will show how much money you’ve put into your retirement plan. It specifies how much money you received to cover your dependent care expenses. Also included are amounts withheld from your paycheck for Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state and local taxes.
Before you file your taxes, make sure you’ve received W-2s from each employer (especially important if you changed jobs during the year). If you’re married and filing jointly, you’ll need your spouse’s W-2(s) as well.
Have more questions? Be sure to visit our Knowledgebase for answers to all your tax questions.