Student Tax Education Program - Income Tax

W-2's and 1099 Explained

What is a W-2?

This is a wage and earnings statement that your employer sends to you at the end of the year. It shows how much you made and how much was withheld for taxes. These amounts are broken into federal, state, and local amounts.

Treat these documents with care. Sometimes they can be hard to replace. You will need to contact your employer(s) for additional copies, not the State or IRS. It may be a smart decision to make a photocopy to keep for your records. Keep these for at least 4 years. Sometimes it could take a while for an error on a tax return to be identified and keeping these documents safe will make fixing errors much easier. They are also necessary for amending a tax return later, in case you discover an error on your own that needs corrected.

To amend an already-filed tax return, use the Universal IT1040 Individual Income Tax Return for the Ohio income taxes and the Universal SD100 for the school district income taxes.

The image below is a sample W-2 form that is similar to what would be sent to you by your employer. This will normally arrive on or before January 31 following the tax year it is for. So on or before January 31, 2012, you will receive your 2011 W-2.