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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Taxes => Topic started by: frugalnacho on February 04, 2019, 07:26:01 PM

Title: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: frugalnacho on February 04, 2019, 07:26:01 PM
I participated in a HDHP with an HSA in 2018.  The company put $500 into my HSA in January, and I elected to contribute the family max of $6,400 (plus the $500 from the company brings me to the annual limit of $6,900).  Payroll is done twice monthly, 24 pay periods per year, so I had $6,400/24=$266.67 taken out each pay period.  I worked until late October, and my final paycheck was October 25, so I received exactly 20 paychecks, each with $266.67 put towards my HSA. 

By my calculations I contributed $266.67*20 = $5,333.40.  Plus $500 from my employer brings it to $5,833.40.  I cross checked with my HSA provider and that is the same figure that they have.  However on my W2 in box 12 with code W I have a value of $5516.72.

Is there something obvious I am missing as to why box 12 code W would differ from my $5,833.40 value? Or did my company make an error on my W2? 

That wouldn't surprise me as last year they messed up the same box on my W2 - they incorrectly categorized my FSA contributions as box 12 code W last year.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/w2-box-12-code-w/
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: MDM on February 04, 2019, 11:29:20 PM
Is there something obvious I am missing as to why box 12 code W would differ from my $5,833.40 value?
No.

$5516.72 is very close to $266.67 * 19 + $450, if that provides any clue....
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: frugalnacho on February 05, 2019, 06:43:35 AM
Is there something obvious I am missing as to why box 12 code W would differ from my $5,833.40 value?
No.

$5516.72 is very close to $266.67 * 19 + $450, if that provides any clue....

They put $500 into the account in January, and there were 20 paychecks.  Not only does the 2018 year end summary provided by my HSA match my numbers, but I can see the $500 and 20 instances of $266.67 in the transaction history.



 
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: frugalnacho on March 01, 2019, 07:55:31 PM
I contacted the HR department shortly after starting this thread, but have not heard back.  At this point I don't think I'm going to hear back.  I don't think they messed anything up with the income, just the amount they listed in box 12.  I calculated out what I think should be in boxes 1, 3, and 5 and my value is within 6 cents of their value, which seems close enough.

It seems that since they are under reporting it, that I will have no tax consequences if I just used the value they provide. The only thing it seems to factor into is how much more I can contribute to my HSA on my own.  I am planning to square up based on my value of $5833.40 and put in $1066.60 on my own to bring me up to the $6,900 limit.   

Should I list the $5,516.72 that is on my W2, or the $5833.40 that I calculate?  I don't want to trigger an audit, or draw any attention to it.  I won't be using the mistake to try and sneak more money into my HSA though so it seems like there is no problem with using their figure, other than I believe it is technically wrong.
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: walkwalkwalk on March 01, 2019, 08:10:04 PM
I would go with the actual contributions that came into your HSA account. Can't go wrong there. Sounds like that's the $5,833.40, but I would check the account to be sure. It should tell you total contributions.

The tax software may show on the Form 8889 that you could contribute up to maxing using the $5,516.72 number, but I mean you'd be missing out on 316.68 x [yourtaxratehere] so max 110$. And the potential investment on $316.68. So whatever you want to assume for that. All those numbers vs the risk you have that they say you overcontributed.

Alternatively, you could wait until your Form 5498-SA comes out in May. You'd have to make an estimate of what you'd owe (if anything) and file an extension.
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: MustacheAndaHalf on March 02, 2019, 10:59:07 AM
I would send a second email to HR, saying that you'd prefer to have your company handle the correction without having to contact the IRS about it.  And then if you don't even get a reply, you can file a W-2 complaint with the IRS.  Then the company can ignore the IRS, or correct your W-2 within 10 days.
https://www.irs.gov/faqs/irs-procedures/w-2-additional-incorrect-lost-non-receipt-omitted/w-2-additional-incorrect-lost-non-receipt-omitted

Personally, I'd like to see someone from HR go from ignoring me to worrying about a demand from the IRS.
Title: Re: W2 box 12 code W
Post by: frugalnacho on March 06, 2019, 08:56:40 AM
I would go with the actual contributions that came into your HSA account. Can't go wrong there. Sounds like that's the $5,833.40, but I would check the account to be sure. It should tell you total contributions.

The tax software may show on the Form 8889 that you could contribute up to maxing using the $5,516.72 number, but I mean you'd be missing out on 316.68 x [yourtaxratehere] so max 110$. And the potential investment on $316.68. So whatever you want to assume for that. All those numbers vs the risk you have that they say you overcontributed.

Alternatively, you could wait until your Form 5498-SA comes out in May. You'd have to make an estimate of what you'd owe (if anything) and file an extension.

My concern is that even though I report it accurately, the IRS has been furnished a copy that has the incorrect amount.  Everything about my taxes is on the up-and-up, but I would still rather avoid raising any red flags or triggering an audit.

I know the correct amount is $5,833.40 and that my remaining space is $1066.60 and that is what I plan to contribute.  Using the incorrect number of $5,516.72 would allow me to contribute an additional $316.68, and I might be able to get away with it, but I am not going to even attempt that. 

I would send a second email to HR, saying that you'd prefer to have your company handle the correction without having to contact the IRS about it.  And then if you don't even get a reply, you can file a W-2 complaint with the IRS.  Then the company can ignore the IRS, or correct your W-2 within 10 days.
https://www.irs.gov/faqs/irs-procedures/w-2-additional-incorrect-lost-non-receipt-omitted/w-2-additional-incorrect-lost-non-receipt-omitted

Personally, I'd like to see someone from HR go from ignoring me to worrying about a demand from the IRS.

I don't want to file a complaint with the IRS. The error is inconsequential to the amount of tax I owe, I'm just worried about filing my forms that have a discrepancy compared to my W2, or alternatively filing my forms that I believe contain an error.  I just want to be done with this dumpster fire of a company.  I've made a number of threads bitching about their incompetency stretching back a year and a half now, but this should be the last hurdle I have to deal with.  My insurance coverage through them is finally done, my 401k has been rolled over to vanguard, my HSA is in the process of being rolled over, my FSA account has been depleted, and I quit working there in 2018, so these taxes should be the last I have to deal with them unless something unforeseen crops up.   With the uncertainty of possible bonuses, switching jobs, the new tax laws, and not knowing where exactly I was going to fall with regards to certain tax credits, I was unsure of how my taxes were going to shake out for the year so I was conservative with my withholding.  I will be getting a refund of $2,700 from federal for the year.  At this point I just want to file my taxes and get my refund and be done with it.