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Income Codes from Box 12 of Your W2 Form


This page contains a list of all codes that may appear in box 12 of your W2 Form. You may need this information to complete your tax return.

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The Codes:

  • A - Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on tips (Include this tax on Form 1040. See "Total Tax" in the Form 1040 instructions.)

  • B - Uncollected Medicare tax on tips (Include this tax on Form 1040. See "Total Tax" in the Form 1040 instructions.)

  • C - Taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (included in boxes 1, 3 (up to social security wage base), and 5)


Note: If a year follows code D, E, F, G, H, or S, you made a make-up pension contribution for a prior year(s) when you were in military service. To figure whether you made excess deferrals, consider these amounts for the year shown, not the current year. If no year is shown, the contributions are for the current year.


  • D - Elective deferrals to a section 401(k) cash or deferred arrangement. Also includes deferrals under a SIMPLE retirement account that is part of a section 401(k) arrangement.

  • E - Elective deferrals under a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement

  • F - Elective deferrals under a section 408(k)(6) salary reduction

  • G - Elective deferrals and employer contributions (including nonelective deferrals) to a section 457(b) deferred compensation plan

  • H - Elective deferrals to a section 501(c)(18)(D) tax-exempt organization plan (see "Adjusted Gross Income" in the Form 1040 instructions for how to deduct)

  • J - Nontaxable sick pay (not included in boxes 1, 3, or 5)

  • K - 20% excise tax on excess golden parachute payments (see "Total Tax" in the Form 1040 instructions)

  • L - Substantiated employee business expense reimbursements (nontaxable)

  • M - Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (former employees only) (see "Total Tax" in the Form 1040 instructions)

  • N - Uncollected Medicare tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (former employees only) (see "Total Tax" in the Form 1040 instructions)

  • P - Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to employee (not included in boxes 1, 3, or 5)

  • R - Employer contributions to your Archer (MSA) (see Form 8853, Archer MSAs and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts)

  • S - Employee salary reduction contributions under a section 408(p) SIMPLE (not included in box 1)

  • T - Adoption benefits (not included in box 1). You must complete Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, to compute any taxable and nontaxable amounts.

  • V - Income from exercise of non-statutory stock option(s) (included in boxes 1, 3 (up to social security wage base), and 5)


Please note: elective deferrals (codes D, E, F, G, H, and S) under all plans are generally limited to $12,000 ($15,000 for section 403(b) plans, if you qualify for the 15-year rule explained in Pub. 571). However, if you were at least age 50 in 2017, your employer may have allowed an additional deferral of up to $2,000 ($1,000 for section 401(k)(11) and 408(p) SIMPLE plans).

This additional deferral amount is not subject to the overall limit on elective deferrals. For code G, the limit on elective deferrals may be higher for the last 3 years before you reach retirement age. Contact your plan administrator for more information. Amounts in excess of the overall elective deferral limit must be included in income. See the "Wages, Salaries, Tips, etc." line instructions for Form 1040, or check the help section of TurboTax Online, which will help you figure all of this out faster than you just read this sentence.


Related IRS Publications

You can get more information about your earned income directly from the IRS, in the form of Publication 525.




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