The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers VOLUME 2: Issue 7

Important reminders for completing
your 2005 Forms W-2

Here are ways to avoid the most frequent mistakes made on W-2s. For a
box-by-box guide on how to complete the 2005 Form W-2, see the
forthcoming January 2006 issue of The General Ledger (
our members' free monthly technical update, yours free upon joining.

Box d. Employee’s SSN. If one was applied for but not received, enter
“Applied for.” If you file magnetically or electronically, enter 000-00-0000.

Box e. The employee’s name must appear exactly as it appears on the
Social Security card or W-4. Do not change a name until you see a new
Social Security card. Omit titles, suffixes (Mr., Ms., Mrs., III, Jr.,
Sr.) and academic degrees (R.N., Dr., M.D.). Use a hyphen in compound
surnames (Smith-Jones), even if there is no hyphen on the SS card.
Connect O’, D’, etc., with an apostrophe or join to the name (e.g.,
O’Brian or OBrian).

Important. Make sure that third parties filing third-party sick pay
recap forms W-2 enter “Third-Party Sick Pay Recap” here in place of the
employee’s name.

Box 3. Total wages subject to Social Security tax excluding tips
(actual and allocated). Include applicable Box 12 items (Codes D, E, F,
G, S), elective and nonelective deferrals to §457 plans, MSA employee’s
and non-excludable employer contributions, employee’s contributions to a
SIMPLE retirement account, adoption benefits, and former employee group
term-life over $50,000. Box 3 + Box 7 should not exceed $90,000.

Box 12. The IRS has postponed Code Y and Z information for 2005. If you
use the paper W-2, you cannot have more than 4 items (magnetic and
electronic media can have more); omit dollar signs and commas. You may
report veterans’ “makeup” deferrals here
with appropriate code and year
that the deferrals relate to; or give this data in a separate statement
showing the type of plan, year it relates to and the amount.

But what exactly does--or does not--go in: • Boxes a, b, c and f? • the
Void box? • Boxes 1 and 2? • Boxes 7 through 11? • Boxes 13 through 20?

Get fast, clear answers in “Completing the 2005 Form W-2 Box by Box”
and handy quick-find chart, in the January issue of The General
Ledger—yours free if you join now (

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