What if boxes are left blank on my W-2?

Created by Harendra Singh Rathore, Modified on Thu, 02 Feb 2023 at 07:49 PM by Harendra Singh Rathore

When filing your tax return with a W-2, you want to input the information on this tax form exactly as it appears. In some cases, this may mean leaving some fields blank if they’re also empty on your W-2 form. Do not enter any information in a field if your W-2 is blank. This could lead to a delay in processing your taxes, a potential tax audit, and may require you to complete a corrected tax return. 

Depending on your employment type, different boxes are likely to remain empty on your W-2. For instance, if your wages are not subject to withholding or if you’re a statutory employee, then box 2 (withholding) may be blank, to indicate taxes were not withheld. 

Another example would be if boxes 15 through 20 (state and local taxes) were empty. If you live in a state without income tax, these boxes will likely remain blank. 

If you notice a box is blank that shouldn’t be — like if your W-2 shows taxes were not withheld and you know they were — you should contact your employer, explain the issue, and ask for a corrected W-2.

Alternately, if you believe a field should be blank, but you see data within it, you should also talk to your employer to find out if a mistake was made, and request a corrected W-2.

The bottom line is, the blank boxes on your W-2 form should be left blank when filing your tax return. Unless you think there’s a mistake, you should enter the information exactly as it appears.

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