Vision Payroll

January 6, 2009

2008 Form W-2 Tips, Part 4, Box 3 Social Security Wages

This is one in a continuing series on the 2008 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than February 2, 2009. 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 3, social security wages.

Box 3 shows the amount wages paid subject to social security tax. It does not include social security tips reported in box 7 or allocated tips reported in box 8. Wages should be reduced by amounts withheld for non-taxable benefits elected under ยง125 plans, certain clergy housing allowances, and third-party sick pay after the end of six calendar months after the calendar month that the employee last worked for the employer. For 2008, the combined total of boxes 3 and 7 cannot exceed $102,000. Since social security benefits are based on the amount of social security wages reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is important that employees periodically review their social security earnings record and provide the SSA with the Form W-2 to update any incorrectly posted earnings records.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 4, social security tax withheld. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2008 Form W-2.

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