Learn about wages, salaries, and tips for your tax return

Learn how to report wages, salaries, and tips from your Form W-2.

As an employee, your employer must give you a Form W-2 by January 31. The W-2 reports:

  • Your wages
  • Contributions
  • Social Security
  • U.S. or Massachusetts retirement and Medicare tax
  • Withholding for state and federal income taxes

Contact your department payroll office for:

  • A Form W-2c (Statement of Corrected Income and Tax Amounts) if your name, social security number, or any of the information reported on your Form W-2 is incorrect
  • A reprint of your Form W-2 if necessary
  • Any other questions on specific Form W-2 items

If you didn't receive a W-2 from your employer, you should first contact them to verify whether it was mailed to the correct address.

U.S. Form 4852

You can also call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 after February 15 to request a Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement (U.S. Form 4852). You should only request this form after reasonably attempting to get a W-2 from your employer. We'll still accept a U.S. Form 4852 if you don't have a W-2, but you must still submit the year-end pay stub to verify the amount you filled in the "State tax withheld" box.

On Form 4852, provide the following information to the IRS:

  • Your name, address, zip code, Social Security number or ITIN
  • Your employer's or payer's name, address and zip code, and identification number (if known)
  • Estimation of wages, compensation, and taxes withheld

Special notes for preparing your Massachusetts tax return

BOX 6: Medicare tax withheld - Medicare tax deducted from Medicare wages and tips of qualifying employees. Add this to amounts paid for Social Security (Box 4) and/or U.S. or Massachusetts retirement as a deduction on your Massachusetts tax return.

BOX 8: Allocated tips - Amounts not included in Boxes 1, 3, 5 or 7. Add these to state wages to determine your total Massachusetts wages. If wage amounts include tips, you should contact your employers to be sure that tips are reported correctly on the W-2.

BOX 12 and BOX 14: Types of compensation and benefits - Boxes 12 and 14 are used to report many special categories of compensation and benefits.   For details, review the code descriptions provided with your Form W-2 including any special instructions provided by your employer.

BOX 16: State wages, tips, etc.When filing your Massachusetts income tax return, use the amount shown in Box 16 for wages. This amount could be different from federal wages in Box 1 since certain pension contributions are excluded from federal wages but not excluded from Massachusetts wages. If you enter the lower federal wage amount, your refund may be delayed.

For more detailed W-2 Box item explanations, visit the IRS website.

Additional Resources for

Reporting on your original tax return

Once you're done with your Forms W-2, attach them all to your original tax return. Enter the amount of Massachusetts wages on Form 1, Line 3 or Form 1-NR/PY, Line 5. Note that the W-2 includes amounts excluded from Federal Adjust Gross Income (AGI): contributions to any annuity, pension, endowment or retirement fund of the US, Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof.

If you want to submit an abatement form or amended tax return, include a Statement of Corrected Income and Tax Amounts (Form W-2c), or a letter from your employer verifying corrected wages or withholding.



Page updated: March 2, 2020