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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.

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.

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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