Preview your W-2 tax forms

Before you send your end of financial year (EOFY) payroll information to the IRS, preview your W-2 tax forms to verify they are correct and nothing is missing. Get advice from your accountant or bookkeeper about taxation and reporting rules, or if you're unsure of what to do.

How it works

There are two stages where the W-2 preview can help you:

  • Before you file for end of financial year, check the dates your employees received their wages. W-2's are based on when the employee received the wages, and not the pay period in which they were earned. For example, paid wages are reported on the 2018 W-2 for pay period December 17 - 28, 2017 and pay date January 3, 2018. You’d need to create a manual journal for this.
  • When you’ve finished running all pay runs with a payment date in 2017, use the W-2 preview to verify the wages, tips and other compensations, federal and state taxes, social security, Medicare and deductions boxes contain the expected amounts.

Create a preview for your W-2

  1. Check that box 13 shows X for any employees with a qualified plan. The 457 plan isn't included in the decision chart.

    The Control Number (box d) and Verification Code boxes can be blank. See IRS initiative (IRS website) for more information.

  2. If any of the following applies to you, you should see it in box 14:
    • S-Corp - 2% Shareholder Health Insurance
    • PUCC - Personal Use of Company Vehicle
    • Clergy (Housing Allowance & Housing in Kind)
    • State unemployment and/or disability for CA and NJ
    • NJ Family Leave Insurance is also included in this box
  3. If any of the following applies to you, you should see it in boxes 12a-d:
    • C - Taxable costs of group-term life insurance over $50,000
    • D - Elective deferral under a 401(k) cash or arrangement plan. This includes a SIMPLE 401(k) arrangement.
    • E - Elective deferrals under a Section 403(b) salary reduction agreement
    • G - Elective deferrals and employer contributions (including nonelective deferrals) to a Section 457(b) deferred compensation plan
    • S - Employee salary reduction contributions under a Section 408(p) SIMPLE
    • W - Employer contributions (including amounts the employee elected to contribute using a Section 125 cafeteria plan) to your health savings account (HSA)
    • AA - Designated Roth contribution under a 401(k) plan
    • BB - Designated Roth contributions under a 403(b) plan

You’re now ready to make sure your final payroll and tax filings are up to date.

Example forms

Here’s what a draft W-2 should look like. Below you can see an example of a completed W-2 form.

Example of a completed W-2 form.