|Instructions for Forms W-2 & W-3
||2003 Tax Year
Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 - Notices
This is archived information that pertains only to the 2003 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.
Specific Instructions for Form W-3
How to complete Form W-3.
The instructions under How to complete Form W-2
on page 7 generally apply to Form W-3. See
those instructions. Darkly type all entries, if possible.
Amounts reported on related employment tax forms (e.g., Form W-2, Form 941, or Form 943) should agree with the amounts
reported on Form W-3. If
there are differences, you may be contacted by the IRS and SSA. You should retain a reconciliation for future reference. See
W-2, W-3, 941, and 943
on page 11.
Box a—Control number.
This is an optional box that you may use for numbering the whole transmittal. Make certain that entries do not cross over into the form
identification number box (33333).
Box b—Kind of Payer.
Check the box that applies to you. Check only one
the second, checked box is “Third-party sick pay.
you have more than one type of Form W-2, send each type
(except “Third-party sick pay
”) with a separate Form W-3.
“Third-party sick pay
” indicator box does not designate a separate
kind of payer.)
Check this box if you file Form 941,
Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, and no other category
A church or church organization should check this box even if it is not required to file Form 941.
Check this box if you are a military employer
sending Forms W-2 for members of the uniformed
Check this box if you are an agricultural employer
and file Form 943,
Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and you are sending Forms W-2 for agricultural employees. For nonagricultural
their Forms W-2 with a separate Form W-3, checking the appropriate box.
Check this box if you are a railroad employer
sending Forms W-2 for employees covered under the
Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). Do not show employee RRTA tax in boxes 3 through 7.
These boxes are only
for social security
and Medicare information. If you also have employees who are subject to social security and Medicare taxes, send that group's
Forms W-2 with a
separate Form W-3 and check the “941
” box on that Form W-3.
Check this box if you are a household employer
sending Forms W-2 for household employees and you
did not include the household employee's taxes on
Form 941 or Form 943.
Medicare govt. emp.
Check this box if you are a U.S., state, or local agency filing Forms W-2 for employees subject only to the
1.45% Medicare tax. See Government employers
on page 5.
Third-party sick pay.
Check this box and
another box such as the “941
” box if you are a third-party sick pay payer (or are reporting sick pay payments
made by a third party) filing Forms W-2 with the “Third-party sick pay
” box in box 13 checked. File a single Form W-3 for the regular and
“Third-party sick pay” Forms W-2.
See also 941
Box c—Total number of Forms W-2.
Show the number of completed
individual Forms W-2 that you are transmitting with this Form W-3. Do not count “Void
” Forms W-2.
Box d—Establishment number.
You may use this box to identify separate establishments in your business. You may file a separate Form W-3, with
Forms W-2, for each establishment
even if they all have the same EIN; or you may use a single Form W-3 for all Forms W-2 of the same type.
Box e—Employer identification number.
If you received a preprinted Form W-3 from the IRS with Pub. 393,
Employment Tax Forms, or Pub. 2184,
Alternative Ways To Get Employment Tax Forms and Instructions, verify that your employer identification
number (EIN) is correct. Make any necessary corrections on the form.
If you did not receive a form with a preprinted EIN, enter the nine-digit EIN assigned to you by the IRS. The number
should be the same as shown on
your Form 941, Form 943, or Form CT-1 and in the following format: 00-0000000. Do not use a prior owner's EIN.
See Box h
If you do not have an EIN when filing your Form W-3, enter “Applied For
” in box e, not your social security number, and see the Box b
instructions for Form W-2 on page 7.
Box f—Employer's name.
If you are not using a preprinted Form W-3, enter the same name as shown on your Form 941, Form 943, or Form CT-1.
Make any necessary corrections
on your preprinted Form W-3.
Box g—Employer's address and ZIP code.
If you are not using a preprinted Form W-3, enter your address. Make any necessary corrections on your preprinted
Box h—Other EIN used this year.
If you have used an EIN (including a prior owner's EIN) on Form 941, Form 943, or Form CT-1 submitted for 2004 that
is different from the EIN
reported on Form W-3 in box e, enter the other EIN used. Agents generally report the employer's EIN in box h. See Agent reporting
Contact person, telephone number, fax number, and email address.
Please enter this information for use by the SSA if any questions arise during processing.
The amounts to enter in boxes 1 through 19, described below, are totals from only the Forms W-2 that you are sending
with this Form W-3.
Boxes 1 through 10.
Enter the totals reported in boxes 1 through 10 on the Forms W-2.
Box 11—Nonqualified plans.
Enter the total reported in box 11 on Forms W-2.
Box 12—Deferred compensation.
Enter one total of all amounts reported with codes D–H
in box 12 on Forms
W-2. Do not enter a code.
Box 13—For third-party sick pay use only.
Third-party payers of sick pay (or employers using the optional rule for Form W-2 described in section 6 of Pub. 15-A)
filing third-party sick pay recap Forms W-2 and W-3 must enter “Third-Party Sick Pay Recap
” in this box.
Box 14—Income tax withheld by payer of third-party sick pay.
Complete this box only
if you are the employer and have employees who had income tax withheld on
third-party payments of sick pay. Show the total income tax withheld by third-party payers on payments to all of your employees.
Although this tax is
included in the box 2 total, it must be separately shown here.
Box 15—State/Employer's state ID number.
Enter the two-letter abbreviation for the name of the state being reported on Form(s) W-2. Also enter your state-assigned
ID number. If the Forms
W-2 being submitted with this Form W-3 contain wage and income tax information from more than one state, enter an “X
” under “State
” and do
not enter any state ID number.
Enter the total of state/local wages and income tax shown in their corresponding boxes on the Forms W-2 included with
this Form W-3. If the Forms
W-2 show amounts from more than one state or locality, report them as one sum in the appropriate box on Form W-3. Please verify that the amount
reported in each box is an accurate total of the Forms W-2.
Reconciling Forms W-2, W-3, 941, and 943
Reconcile the amounts shown in boxes 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 from all 2004 Forms W-3 with their respective amounts from the 2004 yearly
totals from the quarterly Forms 941, or Form 943. When there are discrepancies between amounts reported on Forms W-2 and W-3
filed with the SSA
and on Forms 941 or 943 filed with the IRS, we must contact you to resolve the discrepancies. To help reduce discrepancies on Forms W-2:
- Report bonuses as wages and as social security and Medicare wages on Forms W-2 and 941/943.
- Report both social security and Medicare wages and taxes separately on Forms W-2, W-3, and 941/943.
- Report social security taxes withheld on Form W-2 in
box 4, not in box 3.
- Report Medicare taxes withheld on Form W-2 in box 6, not in box 5.
- Make sure that the social security wage amount for each employee does not exceed the annual social security wage base limit
($87,900 for 2004).
- Do not report noncash wages that are not subject to social security or Medicare taxes as social security or Medicare wages.
- If you use an EIN on any quarterly Form 941 for the year (or annual Form 943) that is different from the EIN reported in
box e on Form W-3, enter the other EIN in box h on Form W-3.
To reduce the discrepancies between amounts reported on Forms W-2, W-3, and Form 941/943:
- Be sure that the amounts on Form W-3 are the total amounts from Forms W-2.
- Reconcile Form W-3 with your four quarterly Forms 941 (or annual Form 943) by comparing amounts reported for—
- Income tax withholding (box 2).
- Social security wages, Medicare wages and tips, and social security tips (boxes 3, 5, and 7). Form W-3 should include Form
941 or Form 943
adjustments only for the current year. If the Form 941 or Form 943 adjustments include amounts for a prior year, do not report
those prior year
adjustments on the current year Forms W-2 and W-3.
- Social security and Medicare taxes (boxes 4 and 6). The amounts shown on the four quarterly Forms 941 (or annual Form 943),
current year adjustments, should be approximately twice the amounts shown on Form W-3.
- Advance EIC payment (box 9)
Amounts reported on Forms W-2, W-3, and 941/943 may not match for valid reasons. If they do not match, you should determine
that the reasons are
valid. Keep your reconciliation in case there are inquiries from the IRS or the SSA.
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