W-2C: Corrected Wage and Tax Statement

The W-2c, also known as Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, is a form used by employers to rectify errors made on the original W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) they filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provided to their employees.

What is a W-2?

A W-2 is a tax form that summarizes an employee's earnings and withheld federal income taxes for a specific tax year. Businesses are required to file W-2s with the SSA by the end of February each year, and employees typically receive a copy by the end of January. The information on the W-2 is crucial for filing your federal income tax return.

What are W-2 and W-2c Used For?

W-2: The W-2 is the primary tax document employees receive annually. It details their wages, tips, and other compensation earned throughout the year, along with federal income tax withheld, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes. This information is crucial for filing your tax return.

W-2c: If an employer discovers an error on a previously filed W-2, they will issue a W-2c to correct the mistake. This could involve:

  • Incorrect employee information (name, Social Security Number)
  • Mistakes in wage amounts (earnings, tips, etc.)
  • Errors in federal income tax withheld
  • Inaccurate state or local income tax withholdings (although these corrections may be reported on separate forms depending on your state)

Common Reasons for Receiving a W-2c

There are several reasons why you might receive a W-2c from your employer:

A. Payroll mistakes: Sometimes, errors occur during payroll processing, leading to incorrect wage amounts reported on the W-2.

B. Data entry errors: Typographical errors in your name, Social Security Number, or other identifying information necessitate a W-2c for correction.

C. Tax Withholding mistakes: Occasionally, employers might withhold an incorrect amount of federal income tax. A W-2c will be issued to reflect the proper amount.

D. Employer-reported errors: If your employer discovers any discrepancies with the information they initially reported to the SSA, they will use a W-2c to rectify it.

Note: It's important to note that the W-2c only corrects errors reported to the SSA. It does not rectify mistakes made on state or local income taxes.

Who receives a copy of the W-2c?

Both the employee and the SSA receive a copy of the W-2c. The employer typically sends the original to the SSA and a copy to the employee.

How long does it take for the correction to reflect on my Social Security record?

The processing time for the W-2c by the SSA can vary, but it generally takes 6-8 weeks.

Do I need to file an amended tax return if I receive a W-2c after filing my taxes?

The need to file an amended return depends on the nature of the correction and its impact on your tax liability. If the changes are significant (altering your tax bracket or resulting in a substantial tax difference), then filing an amended return might be necessary. Consult a tax professional for guidance specific to your situation.

Is there a deadline to file a W-2c?

Employers should file a W-2c as soon as they discover an error on the original W-2. There's no strict deadline for filing, but prompt action helps ensure accurate tax records for both the employee and the Social Security Administration.