Vision Payroll

January 22, 2011

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 13, Box 12 Codes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Vision @ 10:48 am

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:

Code AUncollected social security or RRTA tax on tips
Code BUncollected Medicare tax on tips
Code CTaxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000
Code DElective deferrals under §401(k) cash or deferred arrangement (plan)
Code EElective deferrals under §403(b) salary reduction agreement
Code FElective deferrals under §408(k)(6) salary reduction SEP
Code GElective deferrals and employer contributions (including nonelective deferrals) to any governmental or nongovernmental §457(b) deferred compensation plan
Code HElective deferrals under §501(c)(18)(D) tax-exempt organization plan
Code JNontaxable sick pay
Code K20% excise tax on excess golden parachute payments
Code LSubstantiated employee business expense reimbursements
Code MUncollected social security or RRTA tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (for former employees)
Code NUncollected Medicare tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (for former employees)
Code PExcludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to employee
Code QNontaxable combat pay
Code REmployer contributions to an Archer MSA
Code SEmployee salary reduction contributions under a §408(p) SIMPLE
Code TAdoption benefits
Code VIncome from the exercise of nonstatutory stock option(s)
Code WEmployer contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Code YDeferrals under a §409A nonqualified deferred compensation plan
Code ZIncome under §409A on a nonqualified deferred compensation plan
Code AADesignated Roth contributions under a §401(k) plan
Code BBDesignated Roth contributions under a §403(b) plan
Code CCHIRE exempt wages and tips

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

    Comment by daisy — February 6, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  2. 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.

    Comment by Vision — February 6, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  3. 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?

    Comment by Ryan — February 14, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  4. 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.

    Comment by Vision — February 14, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  5. 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.

    Comment by Jenn — February 11, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  6. 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.

    Comment by Vision — February 12, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

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