January 22, 2011
2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 13, Box 12 Codes
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

This is one in a continuing series on the 2010 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than January 31, 2011. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 12, codes.

Box Identifiers a, b, c, and d Are not Codes

Enter codes and amounts in boxes 12a, 12b, 12c, and 12d. The letters a, b, c, and d do not relate to the codes, but are strictly for identification purposes. If an employee has code C for $100 and that is the only code for that employee, the employer may enter code C in box 12a; it does not need to be entered in box 12c. If filing copy A on paper, enter only four codes on one Form W-2. Employers should use multiple forms for employees with more than four codes. There is no limit on the number of codes on any other copy of Form W-2. Enter the code and amount without dollar signs or commas.

The codes and their descriptions are as follows:

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Employers should combine elective deferrals and elective catch-up contributions into one sum and report under the appropriate elective deferral plan code.

Box 13, Checkboxes Is the Next Topic

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 13, checkboxes. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2010 Form W-2.


  1. daisy

    what if i have a C in 12a, and 0.00 for the amount?

    • Vision

      If the amount is zero, you may ignore it. Most likely, you have group-term life insurance and none is taxable or others in your company have group-term life insurance and you don’t have it.

  2. Ryan

    My Employer put an amount in one of the “12” boxes but put nothing in the code box. is the allowed or is this an error?

    • Vision

      It should have one of the codes in the box so that you know the information being provided. You should ask for a corrected W-2 from your employer.

  3. Jenn

    Why do I have a entry of B in box 12b (of a very high dollar amount)? I have never had this before and I do not work in a job in which I collect tips.

    • Vision

      If you don’t have a job with tips, you shouldn’t have an amount with code B. You should double-check the code and ask your employer for clarification.

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