Wages, Salaries, and Tips

Wages, salaries, and tips you received for performing services as an employee of an employer must be included in your gross income. Amounts that were withheld for taxes, such as income tax, social security and Medicare taxes, are considered “received” and you must include those amoounts in gross income in the year they are withheld.

Generally, your employer’s contribution to a qualified pension plan for you is not included in gross income at the time it is contributed. Amounts withheld under certain salary reduction agreements with your employer may sometimes be excluded, but in some cases the amounts may have to be included in gross income in the year they are withheld. See Publication 17, Chapter 5, Wages Salaries and Other Earnings, and Chapter 6, Tip Income, for specific information.

Your employer should provide a Form W-2 showing your total income and withholding. You must include all income and withholding from all Forms W-2 you receive, and if filing jointly all of your spouse’s Forms W-2. Attach a copy of each W-2 to the front of your tax return as indicated in the instructions. Please note that Form 1099-MISC (PDF) generally reports self-employment income. See Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business, for more information.

File an amended tax return, Form 1040X, if you receive a Form W-2 after your return is filed.

Refer to Form W-2 and Form 1099-R (What to Do If Not Received) if you have not received one or more Forms W-2 by January 31st.

Note:For more information on tips, refer to Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income, and Publication 1244, Employee’s Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer.

Last reviewed: September 21, 2013