Information Needed to Prepare W-2 Forms

Information about Employer and Employees

Doing accounts
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Gathering Information to Prepare W-2 Forms

Form W-2 includes information on employee wages paid the previous calendar year and withholding from those wages, as well as other information on qualified benefit plans, tip income, and other deductions from wages.

Information about Your Business

For each W-2, you will need to include information about your business:

Information about Your Employees

For each employee, you will need up-to-date personal information:

  • Social Security Number or other tax identification number
  • Name
  • Address

Information about Employee Earnings

Next, you will need information on total wages and withholding for each employee for last year:

  • Total wages, tips, and other compensation
  • Total Social Security wages (up to the Social Security maximum)
  • Total Medicare wages (same as total wages)
  • Social Security tips and allocated tips

 Information on Retirement Plans

You will need to indicate, for each W-2, if each employee participates in a retirement plan or a non-qualified plan with your company, if this employee is a statutory employee, or if the person received third-party sick pay.

Read more details about How to prepare Form W-2.

Where to Find the Information

The information for this form comes from your payroll register, which shows year-to-date totals for each employee for wages and withholding, along with deductions for medical plans, health savings accounts, and other items.


You will also need a current W-4 form for each employee. The W-4 form is used by the employee to give you their address, 

Control Number

You may want to add an internal control number on each W-2, if you are paying many employees. You can generate the number yourself, or your payroll preparation software may generate this number.