Loyola University Chicago

Financial Services

Understanding Your W-2

The following information is intended to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding the content and distribution of your W-2, which is needed to file income tax returns.

This is the taxable amount reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is your gross wages excluding all pre-tax deductions including: Pre-tax medical, dental, 403(b), flex spending, parking and transportation. It also includes any taxable fringe benefits (such as tuition remission benefits greater than $5,250), gifts, bonuses, taxable moving, as well as the taxable value of group-term life insurance in excess of $50,000 (see box 12, below).  

This is the total amount of federal income tax withheld from your wages during the calendar year.

The applicable limit on Social Security wages in 2017 is $127,200.  Income subject to the Social Security tax is not reduced by your contributions to a retirement plan (403(b)), but is affected by all other pre-tax deductions, which include parking, healthcare, flex spending, etc. The only applicable exceptions are student employees working at Loyola while enrolled full-time and attending classes, as well as certain nonresident alien employees.

The Social Security tax rate for is 6.2%, and a matching amount of 6.2% is paid by Loyola. The only applicable exceptions are student employees working at Loyola while enrolled full-time and attending classes, and certain nonresident alien employees.

There is no applicable limit on Medicare wages. Income subject to the Medicare tax is not reduced by your contributions to a retirement plan (403(b)), but is affected by all other pre-tax deductions, which includes parking, healthcare, flex spending, etc. The only applicable exceptions are student employees working at Loyola while enrolled full-time and attending classes, and certain nonresident alien employees.

The Medicare tax rate is 1.45%, and a matching amount is paid by Loyola. Employees who have taxable wages in excess of $200,000 are subject to an additional 0.9% tax. The only applicable exceptions are student employees working at Loyola while enrolled full-time and attending classes, and certain nonresident alien employees.

Loyola must report the pre-tax amount paid into a dependent care flexible spending account as part of the Loyola Benefits Plan. Only dependent care benefits are reportable. Other pre-tax deductions withheld under the Benefits plan are not reportable.

The Codes shown in box 12 are described below.

  • C Taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000 
  • E 403(b) Retirement Contributions
  • P Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to employee
  • T Adoption Assistance benefits
  • DD Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage including the employee and employer share. These amounts are not taxable.

The “Retirement plan” box must be checked if you contributed to any of the University’s defined contribution plans. Thus, all Loyola Employees who fall into this category will have an X in this block. By checking the “Retirement plan” block, an employer notifies the IRS that an employee’s eligibility for a deductible Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) may be limited.

GRTUI - Graduate Tuition Benefits

This box identifies the state your wages are reported to.

The amount of your wages subject to state tax. This amount might differ from the amount shown in Box 1.

The amount of tax withheld for the state in Box 15.