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Terms and Definitions

What is a W-2 Tax Form?

Updated: February 26, 2022

W-2 definition and meaning

A W-2 is a government tax form, completed by an employer which reports an employees’ annual wages from the previous year. Also known as a Wage and Tax statement, it includes supplemental payments such as tips, commissions, bonuses, as well as totals for all deductions and withholdings.


More about W-2s

Federal law requires employers to issue a completed copy of Form W-2 to each employee and the IRS at the end of each calendar year. The employee uses the information on the W-2 to pay their income taxes and the employer uses it to report FICA taxes. Employers must also send a copy to the IRS, which uses the form to track individuals’ tax obligations.

Using W-2 in a sentence

“In my mind, I’ve already spent my tax refund, and I haven’t even gotten my W-2 yet!”

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