FAQs for Form W-2

FAQs for Form W-2

Why is my salary not the amount in Box 1?

Box 1 shows your TAXABLE wages for the year. Please remember that this amount is affected by both pre tax deductions and non-cash taxable income.

How is the amount in Box 1 calculated?

To see how the amount in Box1 is calculated, please see the information below. You can use your last pay stub to get this information and plug in those amounts

Gross Salary for the year:

ADD Non cash taxable income:
(Tuition, insurance over 50k, taxable moving expenses, etc.)

DEDUCT pre tax deductions:
(Health benefits, retirement, transportation, parking)
NOTE: Retirement deductions for Roth 403(b) are not pre tax

Total should be the amount in Box 1:

If this does give you the same amount as in Box 1, there may have been adjustments made to your taxable income. Please contact us if you are not aware of what adjustment may have been made.

Why is the amount different in Box 1 and Box 3?

Pretax retirement deductions reduce the amount in Box 1 but not Box3/5.

What do the codes in Box 12 mean?


  • C – Taxable costs of group term life insurance over $50,000
  • E – Elective Deferrals for 403(b)
  • G – Elective Deferrals and Employer Contributions to 457(b)
  • M – Uncollected Social Security tax on taxable cost of group term life insurance over $50,000
  • N – Uncollected Medicare tax on the taxable cost of group term life insurance over $50,000
  • W – Employer Contributions and employee contributions to the Health Savings Plan (HSA)  
  • BB – Roth contributions under a 403(b) plan
  • DD – Cost of employer sponsored health coverage

I’m having trouble printing my W2

Trying a different browser usually corrects this problem. Chrome seems to work best.  If you still have a problem printing, contact our office to mail you a paper copy in the mail.
There is a link above the W2 that shows the instructions on the back of the form if you would need additional information.

Why can’t I see my full Social Security Number on the W2?

Your full Social Security number will appear on the W2 when you print it.

What if I owe money when I file my 2019 tax return and I want to adjust my taxes for this year 2020?

For help with determining your federal withholding, go to the IRS withholding calculator.

To change your withholding information for 2020, you may go to the GWEB Info System,  https://it.gwu.edu/gweb, and enter it online or you can get the W4 form on our website under Forms.