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Box 12 Codes on Tax Form W-2 Explained

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Below is the explanation of the Box 12 Codes on the W-2 tax form. If you’re using tax preparation software from a company like TurboTax, it will prompt you when it’s time to enter any amount found within Box 12.

A – Any uncollected Social Security tax or RRTA tax on tips. You’ll include this amount in your total tax liability on your Form 1040.

B – Any uncollected Medicare tax on tips. You’ll include this amount in your total tax liability on Form 1040.

Are you getting ready to start your taxes? File with TurboTax and you’ll be able to connect online with real CPAs and EAs for unlimited tax advice. They will even perform a line-by-line review to make sure you’re getting the maximum tax refund.

C – If you had group term life insurance through your workplace, the premiums for any value over $50,000 become taxable income to you and are included here.

D – Contributions to a 401k or SIMPLE 401k retirement plan.

Note: Make sure your 401k has the right allocation, is properly diversified and you’re not paying too much in fees. You can do all of that with a free 401k analysis from Blooom.

E – Contributions to a 403b retirement plan.

F – Contributions to an SEP IRA retirement plan.

G – Contributions that you made and any employer contributions to a 457b retirement plan.

H – Contributions to a 501(c) tax-exempt plan.

J – Non-taxable sick pay.

K – Excise tax (equal to 20%) on excess “golden parachute” payments.

L – Reimbursements for employee business expenses.

M – Uncollected Social Security tax or RRTA tax on the premium value of taxable group term life insurance over $50,000 for former employees.

N – Uncollected Medicare tax on the premium value of taxable group term life insurance over $50,000 for former employees.

P – Reimbursements for job relocation moving expenses paid directly to you, and not included in boxes 1, 3, or 5.

Q – Non-taxable combat pay. This isn’t subject to tax, but you can use it to calculate your Earned Income Credit if it will help.

R – Employer contributions to an Archer Medical Savings Account. These are not common anymore.

S – Employee contributions to a SIMPLE retirement plan.

T – Any adoption benefits paid to you by your employer. Use Form 8839 to calculate what portion may be taxable income.

V – Income from exercising non-statutory stock options.

W – Employer contributions to your health savings account (HSA). You will need to report this amount on Form 8889.

Y – Salary deferrals under your 409A non-qualified deferred compensation plan.

Z – Income received under 409A non-qualified deferred compensation plan.

AA – Designated Roth contributions to a 401k retirement plan.

BB – Designated Roth contributions to a 403b retirement plan.

DD – Cost of employer-sponsored healthcare (this amount is not taxable.)

EE – Designated Roth contributions to a governmental 457b retirement plan.

Kira Botkin
Kira is a longtime blogger and serial entrepreneur who enjoys gardening, garage sales, and finding stray animals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where football is a distinct season, and by day runs a research study for people with multiple sclerosis. She hopes that the MoneyCrashers team can help you achieve your goals and live a great life.

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