Know Your W-2

Know Your W-2

The information in this sample is specific to the RUN Powered by ADP® (RUN) platform only and should not be used as the official W-2. In addition to this sample, it's important that you use the detailed instructions for Form W-2 found here

Frequently Asked Questions

Each of these boxes reports the wages that are taxable for their respective taxes. Various earnings and deductions may affect one or more of these boxes, based on IRS regulations. 

For example, employee contributions to qualified retirement plans, like a 401(k), will reduce box 1, but will not affect boxes 3 and 5. 

To see how the taxable wages were calculated, refer to the Reported Wages area.

Gross pay is the amount that your employees earn before taxes, benefits, and other payroll deductions are withheld from their pay.

Taxable wages are the amounts of Gross Pay that is taxed. It can be increased by paying additional earnings or offering fringe benefits, or it can be reduced by contributions to pre-tax deductions like 401(k), qualified health insurance, and other cafeteria plan deductions.

Various earnings and deductions may be treated differently for each federal, state, or local tax. To understand how taxable wages were calculated on this form, please refer to the Reported Wages area on the W-2. 

Under SSA guidelines, the W-2s are due to your employees on or before January 31st. If you are mailing the forms, they must be postmarked on or before January 31st. Failing to provide W-2s to employees or providing them late can subject a business to added penalties from the various tax agencies.

ADP is here to support you and your business and make tax season easy! For additional assistance, please log into  the RUN platform and refer to the W-2 status tracker on the homepage. Additionally, you can contact us through chat or submit a Service Request by logging into the RUN platform. 

If your employee(s) received two W-2s in one package, it could have been due to one or more of the following reasons: 

  • An employee reported wages in more than one state during the year.
  • Box 12 may have contained multiple codes that needed to display on a second page.


If your employee(s) received another W-2 in a separate package, it could have been due to one or more of the following reasons: 

  • There were corrections made that impacted your employee's W-2. This could have been an address change, a Social Security Number correction, voiding of wages or fixing a deduction. 
  • If there are two separate W-2s, the W-2 with the higher "batch number" in box C would reflect the most recent W-2. 



REV 11/22/21