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Understanding Form W-2 and 1042-S

Each year, employees will receive a Form W-2 that provides details of the prior year’s earnings, taxes withheld and other miscellaneous data (such as taxable cost of group term life insurance, cost of employer sponsored health coverage and contributions to retirement or tax deferred savings plans.)

Employees and/or students that are foreign nationals, will receive a Form 1042-S. A Form 1042-S is a year-end federal tax document given to a non-resident alien who received wages that were exempt from federal and state tax withholding by a tax treaty and/or received a non-qualified taxable scholarship. In certain instances, foreign nationals may receive both a W-2 Form and a Form 1042-S for the same tax year.