This memo provides an explanation of some of the information for the 2020 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Employees who consented to receive their W2s electronically will not receive a printed form. An email will be sent to consented employees notifying them when W2s are accessible online. W2s are expected to be available in the HR Direct system starting on Wednesday, January 20.
For federal tax purposes, the following pre-tax benefits are excluded from the gross taxable federal wages in Box 1 (Wages, Tips, Other Compensation) on the employee’s Form W-2:
For Massachusetts state tax purposes, the following pre-tax benefits are excluded from the gross taxable state wages in Box 16 (State Wages, Tips, etc.) on the employee’s Form W-2:
Generally, state wages (Box 16) are higher than federal wages (Box 1) because contributions to SERS and ORP are excluded from federal wages, but not from state wages. State wages include the value of tuition and fee waivers for graduate level courses for employee dependents.
Box 12DD displays the cost of employer-provided group health insurance. This is for informational purposes only and has no effect on your grosses or taxes. If there are more than five entries in Box 12, or more than four entries in Box 14, a second W-2 will print with only that information.
Box 14 Codes (if applicable) are as follows for 2020:
Note to foreign employees about 1042-S Forms:
If you are an employee who claimed exemption from income tax withholding based on a tax treaty, your exempt treaty wages will be reported on a 1042-S form. Your taxable wages (if applicable) will be reported on a W-2 form. If you were not a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident for some portion of the tax year and you received a vendor payment or certain scholarships and awards (outside of payroll), you may receive one or more 1042-S forms.
The 1042-S forms will be delivered to the foreign employees separately from the W-2 forms. They are scheduled to be distributed by March 15, 2021, in accordance with IRS requirements.
Please contact your Human Resource or Payroll Office: