W-2 Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my W-2 Form?

W-2 forms will be mailed out by the deadline of January 31. If you have enrolled in the on-line version (preferred method), you can have access to the W-2 form almost two weeks prior to that date.

How do I sign up to receive my W-2 form electronically and opt out of a paper copy?

Please see Consent to Electronic W-2 section on the Payroll Website.  You will see a confirmation that states “Your changes have been applied.”  Your consent will be valid for all subsequent tax years unless revoked by you.  The W-2 form will be available to you on Employee Self-Service (ESS).

How do I receive my W-2 Form if I am no longer employed with CWM?

Your access to Self-Service will be terminated once you are no longer employed with CWM.  Before leaving CWM make sure you update your address in Employee Self-Service (ESS).  Due to security reasons, we will not e-mail a copy of the W-2 form.

Why doesn’t the amount in Box 1 (Wages, Tips and Other Compensation) agree to the total gross earnings on my last paystub of the year?

The W-2 Box 1 amount represents the federal taxable wages. Federal taxable wages are Gross Earnings minus pre-tax deductions such as health/dental/vision insurance, parking, retirement and FSA Medical and Dependent Care.

Why doesn’t the amount in Box 3 (Social Security Wages) agree to the total Gross Earnings on my last earnings statement of the year?

The W-2 Box 3 amount represents taxable wages that are subject to Social Security taxes. This differs from your Gross Earnings because there are certain deductions that reduce your Social Security taxable wages such as the pre-tax medical/dental and vision insurance, pre-tax parking deduction, FSA Medical and Dependent Care. Retirement and Tax Deferred Savings Plans do not reduce your Social Security taxable wages. There is also a cap on Social Security taxable wages each year. Employees who have earnings in excess of this cap will no longer have a deduction for Social Security tax for the remainder of that year.

Why doesn’t the amount in Box 5 (Medicare Wages) agree to the total Gross Earnings on my last earnings statement of the year?

The W-2 Box 5 amount represents taxable wages that are subject to Medicare taxes. This differs from your Gross Earnings because there are certain deductions that reduce your Medicare taxable wages such as the pre-tax medical/dental and vision insurance, pre-tax parking deduction, FSA Medical and Dependent Care. Retirement and Tax Deferred Savings Plans do not reduce your Social Security taxable wages. Medicare Taxable Wages do not have a cap amount in the year.

Where can I find explanations of the boxes and associated codes found on the W-2 form?

The explanations of these codes can be found on the reverse side of your printed W-2 form.  For electronic W-2s please see Understanding your W-2 and 1042-S section of the website.

Why don’t I have any Social Security or Medicare Wages reported on my W-2 form?

Students of CWM who are enrolled on at least a half time schedule are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. Certain foreign nationals on specific visas are also exempt from these taxes.

My address is not correct on my W-2 Form. Do I need a corrected W-2 form?

No, address changes do not require a corrected W-2 form.  But please make sure you go into Employee Self-Service (ESS) and update your address for all future correspondence.

Are all days worked in December included in my current year’s W-2 form?

For tax reporting purposes, wages are reported when they are paid, rather than when they are earned. Any December days worked and not actually paid in that month are considered earnings in the next year.

My salary is higher this year than the prior year yet my W-2 earnings are less this year. What could be the issue?

You should ensure that your pre-tax deductions (eg. Health insurance, retirement, etc.) have not changed drastically from one year to the next. Also check to see if you received any type of bonus in the prior year that would have increased your total gross pay. If you did not receive a bonus in the current year as well, that would make it appear that you earned less in the current year despite having a higher base salary.

I am a current employee and have misplaced my W-2 form and the deadline is approaching to file my tax return, can I get another copy?

No reprints will be provided to current employees that signed up for electronic W-2 because an identical W-2 reprint can be downloaded from Employee Self Service.  Employees still receiving paper W-2s must send an email to payofc@wm.edu requesting a copy of the W-2.  Re-issues will be printed 5 to 7 days after request was received depending on the payroll schedule.

Who do I call if I have questions on my W-2 Form?

If you could not get your question answered by reviewing the W-2 FAQ section, please contact the Payroll Office at payofc@wm.edu.

Who do I call if I am expecting a Form 1099?

The Payroll Department does not handle Forms 1099. You need to contact Accounts Payable at 757-221-2838.