Understanding Your W-2

Sample W-2
A Employee's Social Security Number: Your social security number.
B Employer Identification Number: UC Berkeley's federal tax identification number.
C Employer's name, address, and ZIP code: The address of UC Berkeley's Payroll office.
D Control Number: Optional field for employer use.
E/F Employee's name, suffix AND employee's address and ZIP code: Your employee identification number, full name (as shown on your Social Security Card), and address (as listed in the HCM system).
1 Wages, tips, other compensation: Your total federal taxable gross pay.

This can include:

  • Wages, bonuses, and other cash compensation (including prizes or awards)
  • Non-cash fringe benefits
  • Executive life insurance
  • Imputed income
  • Non-qualified moving expenses
  • Taxable employee business expense reimbursements

This does not include:

  • 403(b) contributions
  • DCP contributions
  • Medical contributions
  • Health care (HCRA) and Dependent care (DepCare) contributions
  • All other pre-tax contributions
2 Federal income tax withheld: The total amount of federal income tax that was withheld from your wages, tips, and other compensation.
3 Social security wages: Total wages that are subject to social security tax.
4 Social security tax withheld: The amount of social security tax withheld from all OASDI taxable wages. This amount should be equal to 6.2% of the wages listed in Box 3 up to the maximum allowed.
5 Medicare wages and tips: The total wages, tips and other compensation that are subject to Medicare taxes. There is no limit on the amount of wages that are subject to Medicare taxes.
6 Medicare tax withheld: The amount of Medicare tax withheld from your Medicare taxable wages, tips and other compensation. This amount should be equal to 1.45% of the wages listed in Box 5.
9 Advance EIC payment: The total amount of any EIC (earned income credit) payments you have received during the year.
10 Dependent care benefits: The total amount of any dependent care you had deducted for the year.
11 Nonqualified plans: Amounts distributed to you from nonqualified deferred compensation plans or non-government Section 457 pension plan. The amount in Box 11 is already included as taxable wages in Box 1.
12 See inst. for box 12: The total amount of executive life insurance, 403(b) or 457(b) contributions, and excludable moving expenses.
  • Code C: Executive life insurance
  • Code E: 403(b) contribution
  • Code G: 457(b) contribution
  • Code P: Excludable moving expenses
  • Code W: Employer Contributions (including amounts the employee lected to contribute using a section 125 (cafeteria plan) to your health savings account.  Report on Form 8889, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Code Y: Deferrals under a section 409A nonqualified deferred compensation plan.
  • Code Z: Income under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan that fails to satisfy section 409A. This amount is laso included in box 1. It is subject to and additional 20% tax plus interest. See "Other Taxes" in teh Form 1040 instructions.
  • Code DD: Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage.  The amount reported with code DD is not taxable. 
13 Retirement plan: This box is checked if you are a member of the UC retirement plan.
14 Other: This box is used by the University to report other information to you. This box may contain one or more of the following:
  • Defined contribution plan (DCP) casual (CAS) or regular (REG) contributions
  • Imputed income
  • Travel reimbursement
  • Taxable relocation expenses
  • Union dues withheld
  • Uniform payment deductions
  • Non-excludable moving expenses
  • Auto allowance
  • Social club membership
15 State code and employer's state I.D. number: Usually CA for California and the California employer identification number for California. If you live and/or work outside of California and withholding was required for that state, the corresponding state code and identification number will be listed as well.
16 State wages, tips, etc: The total state taxable gross pay you received.
17 State income tax: The total state income taxes that were withheld from your compensation.
18 Local wages, tips, etc: The total local taxable gross pay you received.
19 Local income tax: The total local income tax withheld from your compensation.
20 Locality: If you live and/or work outside of California and the locality that you reside in requires withholding, the locality name will be displayed.