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W-2 Question


It has been a long time since I worked as an employee. Recently, I received my W-2 for the corporate job I had until recently.  Now I have a question for the BAD Community.

W-2 Question

Why is the amount listed in Box #1 labeled Wgs, tips, other compn different than the amount listed in Box #3 labeled Social security wages? Box #1 lists $49,072.10 and Box #3 lists $51,818.26, I don’t understand why the amounts are different.

Can someone please advise?  I looked back thru my old W-2s and I don’t have any where these amounts are different.  (Granted the last one was some years back; I’m not sure what has changed since then.)

Unemployment Benefits Update

My application for unemployment benefits has now been escalated to the tax department (or something like that.) I’ve had to submit a 10 page questionnaire, copies of my W-2, paystubs from this year, copy of my bank records with deposits from them and so much more. It was a beast to get it altogether. As far as I can tell, they are evaluating whether the company was in the wrong.

I have no idea how it will turn out. But it does give me some satisfaction that they are being scrutinized a bit. I’m hopeful that the benefits will kick in, the money would be very helpful as I look for work.

Some Other News

I have not heard back from Home Depot. It makes me very sad that I may not get the part time job. I’m really interested in working there.  I called and left a message for the hiring manager today.

History Buff has decided to move down to GA. We are working out the details now. I’m afraid he’s learned that adulting is not all it’s cut out to be. He is ready to get back to his education.

Book Club will officially start Monday…are you ready?



  • Reply Ashley |

    History Buff is right – adulting is not always all it’s cracked up to be! 🙂
    I don’t know the answer to your W-2 question. I just wanted to throw out a part-time job suggestion. Do you have any fancy golf club/resorts in your area? Tucson is a relatively low cost-of-living (and therefore, typically low-wage) area, but I had someone tell me recently that the fancy golf club resort places pay $30/hour for working in the clubhouse! Plus you get free membership and discounted items from the club (food, attire, etc.). I was shocked because that’s WAY higher than the typical hourly rate for part-time jobs in our area. If you have anything similar you might want to check them out!

  • Reply angie |

    The social security wages is the entire salary. Box 1 is salary minus any pre-tax deductions (401k, HSA, medical).

  • Reply Alice Williams |

    Angie is correct. If you have certain things deducted from your pay “pre-tax”, then those things effectively / essentially reduce your taxable income, that total is in box 1. You still get the full credit of income that you earned for SS purposes, and that is what is in box 2.

  • Reply Sue |

    Nooooooooo, I’m still on the wait list for the library 🙁 I’ll follow along though and then try to catch up when I get the book!!!!

  • Reply PatrickLittle |

    You don’t get a deduction for retirement contributions when calculating your Social Security tax payment. That accounts for the discrepancy. If you’re like me, and use Roth 401k, then the numbers still always match.

    Other pre-tax items are deducted from both federal and social security wages like medical. You’ll have to look up the rules for each line, but payroll companies have this down pretty well.

So, what do you think ?