Taxes. Ughhhhhh, amirite?? So we’ve already covered the definition of a W-4 form and how to fill one out . That’s for when you first get a job or anytime you want to change your tax withholdings. But then there’s this thing called a W-2, and you get this piece of paper every damn year of your working life. So what is this form, and why do you need it? Here’s the DL on the W2.
1) First of all….yes. You do need it. Your W2 form – also called the “Wage and Tax Statement” – details how much you earned from your employer and how much you already paid in taxes. When you do your taxes in April, you’ll need this to fill in a lot of the information. So when you do get your W-2 form, don’t stick it in your junk drawer or toss it in the trash. (Especially that, for Pete’s sake. There is important personal info on that document, including your social security number!)
2) Employers are legally required to provide your annual W-2 form – a copy to you, another to the Social Security Administration, and yet another to your local and state tax authorities – by January 31 of the following year. Note: if you freelance or do contract work, you will get a 1099 from your client, not a W-2. Your W-2 may be delivered electronically, in person, or through the U.S. mail. If it doesn’t arrive by Valentine’s Day, check with your employer and verify the address they have on file.
3) The information on your W-2 determines whether you’re getting a refund or writing a check come April 15 (tax filing deadline day). Not only does it include wages and tips, it also details other important stuff that affects your taxes, like the amount you contributed to your retirement plan during the year, and how much your employer paid toward your health insurance.
What’s the bottom line? If you earned more than $600 last year, be on the lookout for a form with a lot of little boxes on it and the words W-2 in bold letters all over it. Keep it somewhere safe until you need it, and make sure you get those taxes done on time! If you need help understanding your taxes, hit us up and we’ll connect you with a knowledgeable tax pro.