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How to Read Your W-2 Form

Using the last paystub that you were paid in 2016*:

*While VU and VUMC balances are combined into one W-2, the total 2016 taxable income is not reflected on your final VUMC paycheck. You will need to add together your last 2016 VU paycheck (in C2HR it will be UM1, UBA, VTS or UWU pay group) and your last 2016 VUMC paycheck (in C2HR it will be MCM, MCB or MCU pay group) to get the total taxable income listed on your W-2. If you terminated from VU before or after legal separation of April 30, 2016, and were hired at VUMC in 2016, your balances were not combined, and you will receive a separate W-2 from VU and VUMC.


There is a W-2 calculator on the HR website to assist you in verifying taxable wages for 2016.

BOX 1: Wages, tips, other compensation

1. Earnings Section

    Begin with the amount shown as the TOTAL of all Year-To-Date (YTD) Earnings
  • Subtract the YTD Amount for any earnings listed as "Nontaxable" (Nontaxable Tuition, Service-Free Stipend, etc.)

2. Before‐Tax Deductions

  • Subtract the Total YTD Before-Tax Deductions from the amount calculated in section 1 above.

3. Employer Paid Benefits & Other

  • If you're annual salary is greater than $50,000:
    • Add the YTD taxable amount shown as Basic Group Term Life to the amount you calculated in Sections 1 & 2 above.
  • If you covered a Domestic Partner on Health Insurance in 2016
    • Add the YTD taxable amount shown as Domestic Partner Taxation to the amount you calculated in Sections 1 & 2 above.

The net calculation should be the amount shown in Box 1 of your W‐2.

BOX 2: Federal income tax withheld

This is the YTD Amount for "Fed Withholding" shown in the "Taxes" section of your final 2016 VU and VUMC paystubs.

BOX 3: Social Security wages

Box 1 amount plus YTD 403b and 457b Before-Tax Deductions. The 2016 maximum is $118,500.00 for this box.

BOX 4: Social Security tax withheld

This is the YTD Amount for "Fed OASDI/EE" shown in the "Taxes" section of your final 2016 VU and VUMC paystubs. This amount is 6.2 percent of the amount shown in Box 3. The 2016 maximum is $7,347.00 for this box. VUMC has matched your tax contributions with an equal amount.

BOX 5: Medicare wages

Box 1 amount plus YTD 403b and 457b Before-Tax Deductions. There is no limit on these wages.

BOX 6: Medicare tax withheld

This is the YTD Amount for "Fed MED/EE" shown in the "Taxes" section of your final 2015 paystub. This amount is 1.45 percent of the amount shown in Box 5. An additional Medicare surcharge tax of 0.9 percent on wages in excess of $200,000 was withheld. VUMC has contributed 1.45 percent of the amount shown in Box 5.

BOX 7-9: Not applicable for Vanderbilt University Medical Center

BOX 10: Dependent care benefits

Note: This box includes Dependent Care Personal Spending Account deductions.

BOX 11: Not applicable for Vanderbilt University Medical Center

BOX 12: Multiple items may appear in these boxes.

The following codes may appear:

C Taxable Group Term Life — for individuals with VUMC‐provided life insurance amounts greater than $50,000
E Voluntary Contributions to 403(b) — includes all VOLUNTARY employee retirement contributions; Mandatory contributions are NOT included in this amount
P Excludable moving expenses paid by VUMC
T Adoption assistance benefits provided by VUMC
DD Reporting Employer Provided Health Coverage – reporting the cost of medical coverage (employee and employer portions)

Guidelines for other codes that may appear are explained on the back of the W‐2

BOX 13: The following boxes may be checked:

  • Statutory Employee — Not Applicable for Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Retirement Plan — this box would be checked if you are enrolled in the Union Pension Plan, or have mandatory or voluntary 403(b) retirement deductions
  • Third Party Sick Pay — Not Applicable for Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center

BOX 14: Multiple items may appear in this box.

The following items could appear:

  • Taxable Auto — personal use of VUMC provided automobiles
  • Taxable Tuition — taxable tuition benefits paid to you, or on your behalf

BOX 16-21: State and Local Tax Information

These boxes should be used only for faculty or staff who are residents of, or work in a state where Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a registered employer.


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