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What do the letter codes in box 12 of my W-2 mean?

SOLVEDby TurboTax9559Updated December 13, 2023

The UPPER-CASE (capital) letters in box 12 report different things to the IRS. Here's a list of what each one means.

Box 12 codes

  • A: Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on tips reported to your employer
  • AA: Designated Roth contributions under a section 401(k) plan
  • B: Uncollected Medicare tax on tips reported to your employer (but not Additional Medicare Tax)
  • BB: Designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan
  • C: Taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000
  • D : Contributions to your 401(k) plan (including a simple 401(k) plan)
  • DD: Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. More info
  • E: Contributions to your 403(b) plan
  • EE: Designated Roth contributions under a governmental section 457(b) plan
  • F: Contributions to your 408(k)(6) plan
  • FF: Permitted benefits under a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement
  • G: Contributions to your 457(b) plan
  • GG: Income from qualified equity grants under section 83(i)
  • H: Contributions to your 501(c)(18)(D) plan
  • HH: Aggregate deferrals under section 83(i)
  • J: Non-taxable sick pay
  • K: 20% excise tax on excess golden parachute payments
  • L: Substantiated employee business expense reimbursements
  • M: Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (only applies to former employees)
  • N: Uncollected Medicare tax on taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (but not Additional Medicare Tax) (only applies to former employees)
  • P: Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces (not included in box 1, 3, or 5)
  • Q: Nontaxable combat pay
  • R: Company contributions to an Archer MSA
  • S: Employee contributions to your 408(p) SIMPLE plan
  • T: Employer-provided adoption benefits
  • V: Income from the exercise of nonstatutory stock options
  • W: Company contributions (including employee contributions through a cafeteria plan) to an employee's health savings account (HSA)
  • Y: Deferrals under a section 409A nonqualified deferred compensation plan
  • Z: Income under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan that fails to satisfy section 409A. This amount is subject to an additional 20% tax (TurboTax does not support this calculation)

When you're entering your box 12 info, don't enter the lowercase letters next to 12 (12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, sometimes 12a-d)—they're just line labels. Only enter the capital letter codes. For example, if you see "D" on line 12a, enter "D" in TurboTax, not "a". And if line 12a is blank, don't enter anything.

Likewise, ignore See instructions for box 12 or See instrs for box 12 – TurboTax handles the tax stuff for you.

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