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Understanding and Reviewing Form W-2

Square Payroll generates, files, and mails Form W-2 for each of your employees at year-end. We will mail Form W-2 to the mailing address provided for each of your employees. In addition, these forms will be available in Payroll > Tax Forms in your Square Dashboard.

Although Square Payroll files Form W-2s on your behalf, you and your employees are responsible for confirming and ensuring the information in the Form W-2s is accurate. See year-end information for additional questions related to preparing for annual payroll tax filings.

1. Download your Form W-2s

To access your Form W-2s:

  1. Visit Payroll > Tax Forms in your Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Download on the “Wage and Tax Statements” line item to download a .zip file of your Form W-2s.

  3. Extract the Form W-2s from the downloaded .zip file (read below for instructions on doing so on a Mac or Windows computer).

Extract your Form W-2s from a .zip file on a Mac

On most Mac computers, you will find the .zip file containing your W-2s in your Downloads folder. To access the file, you can either open the Downloads folder directly or search in your finder for “W2.zip”. Once you locate the .zip file, double click on it. Your computer will automatically extract the data from the .zip file, creating a folder which contains PDF copies of your W-2s.

Extract your Form W-2s from a .zip file on Windows

The steps for extracting your .zip file depend on which version of Windows you are running. To locate the file, search for “W2.zip” or look for the file in the Downloads folder of My Computer. Follow the links for .zip extraction instructions on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

2. Verify your draft Form W-2 data

You and your employees are responsible for ensuring that the information on Form W-2 is correct. We’ll start processing draft Form W-2s on January 01, 2021. As soon as these forms are ready, you’ll be able to view them by going to Payroll > Tax Forms in your Square Dashboard. Please review them for accuracy. You will have until January 15, 2021 to review your employees’ full names, SSNs, and home addresses. Note: Changes cannot be made to wages on the Form W-2 during this time.

You can update your employee’s information by going to Payroll > Payroll Team. You will then be able to download and view an updated Form W-2 in Tax Forms the following day.

Avoid these common errors: incorrect or misspelled names, incorrect SSN, using nicknames or shortened names, titles before or after the name, and name changes not reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can learn more about Form W-2 information verification by visiting the SSA website.

Reviewing and understanding Form W-2

We know that Form W-2 can be a bit daunting to read. Below is additional information on the fields in Form W-2 that should be reviewed.

  • Box a: Employee Social Security Number (SSN).

  • Box b: Employer Identification Number (EIN).

  • Box c: Employer name, address, and zip code.

  • Box e: Employee name.

  • Box f: Employee mailing address.

  • Box 1: Wages, tips, and other compensation — Total calendar year taxable wages, tips, and other compensation paid to the employee.

  • Box 2: Federal Income Tax Withheld — Total calendar year federal income tax withheld from employee wages.

  • Box 3: Social Security Wages — Total calendar year employee wages subject to employee social security tax, not including social security tips.

  • Box 4: Social Security Tax Withheld — Total calendar year employee social security tax withheld, including social security tax on tips.

  • Box 5: Medicare Wages and Tips — Total calendar year employee wages and tips subject to Medicare tax.

  • Box 6: Medicare Tax Withheld — Total calendar year employee Medicare tax withheld

  • Box 7: Social Security Tips — Total calendar year employee tips reported.

  • Box 10: Dependent care benefits — Total dependent care benefits that your employer paid to you or incurred on your behalf (including amounts from a section 125 (cafeteria) plan). Any amount over $5,000 is also included in box 1.

  • Box 11: Nonqualified plans — This amount is reported in box 1 if it is a distribution made to you from a nonqualified deferred compensation or nongovernmental section 457(b) plan.

  • Box 12:

    • D—Elective deferrals to a section 401(k) cash or deferred arrangement. Also includes deferrals under a SIMPLE retirement account that is part of a section 401(k) arrangement.

    • E—Elective deferrals under a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement

    • G—Elective deferrals and employer contributions (including nonelective deferrals) to a section 457(b) deferred compensation plan.

    • W—Employer contributions (including amounts the employee elected to contribute using a section 125 (cafeteria) plan) to your health savings account.

    • AA—Designated Roth contributions under a section 401(k) plan.

    • BB—Designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan.

    • DD—Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. The amount reported with Code DD is not taxable.

    • EE—Designated Roth contributions under a governmental section 457(b) plan.

  • Box 13: If the “Retirement plan” box is checked, special limits may apply to the amount of traditional IRA contributions you may deduct.

  • Box 14: Other — Employers may use this box to report information such as state disability insurance taxes withheld.

  • Box 15: State Employer Identification Number.

  • Box 16: State, wages, tips, etc. — Total calendar year state taxable wages, tips, and other compensation paid to the employee.

3. Distribute Form W-2

Square Payroll will mail Form W-2 to each of your employees by January 31, 2021. Instructions are included with the form.
Note: We will not resend Form W-2 if an employee does not receive it (due to invalid address or other reasons).

  • If your employee has an invalid mailing address and your business has a valid mailing address, their Form W-2 will be returned to your business. You are then responsible for providing them with their copy of Form W-2.

  • If your employee has an invalid mailing address and your business has an invalid mailing address, you are responsible for downloading the Form W-2s and providing them to your employees.

  • You can access a copy of your Form W-2s under the Payroll > Tax Forms tab in Square Dashboard. Form W-2s are not available in the Square Payroll app.

  • Employees with online accounts can also access a copy of their Form W-2 under their Tax Forms tab or Square Team app.

Learn more about: Payroll

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