Year-end tax documents

What you need to know about various year-end tax documentation. Scroll down for information on the W-2, 1095-C, 1042-S, 1099-R, 1099-M, and 1098-T:

W-2

IRS Form W-2 reports all taxable wages you received from USC during the calendar year, all taxes withheld from those wages, and a few other required fields. The form serves as an annual statement that enables you to file your personal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as state and local authorities. Form W-2 reports only wages paid during the calendar year, regardless of when they were earned; that is, it does not include amounts earned but not paid until the next year.

How and when to get the W-2

The university provides W-2 forms to all employees by no later than January 31 each year. USC employees may elect to receive their W-2 online or on paper. The best way to ensure timely and secure delivery is to register for online delivery of your W-2 with ADP W-2 (https://www.W2.adp.com) which provides USC employees with 24/7 internet access to current and past year W-2s for both paper and online recipients. You can consent to receive your W-2 online at any time. Any election made on or before December 31 will be regarded as consent to electronic services. You may also elect to suppress printing for the current year’s W-2 which is available no later than January 31 of the next year. Withdrawal of your consent can be done at any time.

To sign up for online delivery, simply sign in to Workday, then select > USC Quick Links and then ADP W2s login. Note that ADP now requires two-factor security verification (like the DUO authorization we need to log into Workday) – so you will need to enter the code ADP sends to a mobile phone or email address on your account. This is what the process will look like:

Select where to send the code:

Enter the code to verify identity:

Once you agree to online delivery, your W-2 will be posted on a secure website well before you would normally receive it at home in your mailbox. You will receive an email notification from ADP when your W-2 is available (see sample notification below), along with instructions for retrieval. You can even securely import W-2 information to various tax preparation software programs if you’ve opted for electronic delivery. Electronic delivery also saves on delivery costs and supports the university’s sustainability efforts.

Paper W-2s will be mailed by no later than January 31 to your home address in Workday as of December 31 of the prior year. Note that if you do not sign up for electronic delivery you should ensure your home address is accurate in Workday no later than December 30 of the tax year in question. NOTE to student employees: Updating your address through OASIS or Glacier does not update your address in Workday. You must update your information in Workday. All address corrections must be successfully completed and approved before winter recess to ensure a timely and accurate delivery of your W-2.

Sample ADP W-2 notification of online delivery

Your electronic tax return document is now available on the ADP W-2 Services website.

To access, please follow the instructions listed below.

  1. Login to ADP W-2 Services from the following secure website:
    https://my.adp.com
  2. Click on the link for the appropriate year to display your tax document.

You can access your W-2 statements using ADP Mobile Solutions. Click http://www.adp.com/gomobile for more information and to get the app.

(Note that you will also receive a confirmation email when you enroll for online delivery as well as confirmations of any changes you make to your contact information. Online furnished W-2s are available for download at any time.)

Troubleshooting ADP access

If you have trouble accessing ADP, consider the following tips:

If you exceed the number of attempts to log in, close your browser completely, and just wait one full hour and try again.

You may also use the “Forgot My Username” and “Forgot my Password” links on the site to retrieve your information.

“Contact Administrator” message: If you see this message, go back in to ADP and select the “Forgot my Password” link to resolve the issue.

“Account Locked”: If you see this message, send an email to University Payroll Services at payroll@usc.edu. Include your legal name, USC ID or employee number, and email address. Do not include your social security number. If Payroll is able to remedy the issue, you will receive a return email within 48 hours with a temporary “Personal Registration Code” which will allow you access to your record.

Getting another or duplicate W-2

If you did not receive your W-2 or need another one, you may request a duplicate:

If you need a W-2 for 2015 or later:
Log into www.w2.adp.com – if you haven’t already registered for W2 services, you must do so. Upon registration, you will be able to view, download and print your W-2 for 2015 or later at any time.

If you need a W-2 for 2014 or earlier:
All 2014 and earlier duplicate W-2s must be ordered directly from Payroll Services (payroll@usc.edu). Include in the email your full name at the time of your employment, your date of birth, your employee number (7 digit found on your Workday payslip) AND your USC ID number (10 digit found on your USCard), and your mailing instructions. If you prefer, you may send a written request to University Payroll Services at 3500 S. Figueroa Street Suite 212, Los Angeles, CA 90089-8016, or interoffice mail using mail code 8016. The processing time is 3 to 5 working days after we receive your request.

How to understand the W-2

Box #   Name Description
Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation This is your federal taxable wages (total gross wages less all “reduction items” such as retirement, health, dental, and vision insurance, parking, etc). This amount does include taxable employer provided benefits (both cash and non-cash) such as tuition assistance benefits, housing subsidy, etc. This amount might not equal the year to date total gross wages on your last paycheck for the year.
Box 2 Federal Income Tax Withheld Total amount of federal tax withheld, including “additional withholding”
Box 3 Social Security Wages Total reportable wages less reductions which are not subject to Social Security taxes such as health and dental insurance. Retirement plans are not “reduction items” for Social Security tax purposes and so are included. There is an annual maximum of Social Security Wage.
Box 4 Social Security Tax Withheld Total amount of “FICA-OASDI” Social Security withheld. There is an annual maximum of FICA-OASDI tax each year.
Box 5 Medicare Wages and Tips Total amount of reportable wages less reductions which are subject to Medicare taxes. Retirement plans are not “reduction items” for Medicare tax purposes and so are included. There is no yearly limit for Medicare wages or taxes.
Box 6 Medicare Tax Withheld The total amount of FICA-Medicare withheld. There is no yearly limit for FICA-Medicare tax withheld. This includes “Additional Medicare Tax” withheld during the year which is new as of 2013 and is a tax applied to income earned above certain annual thresholds
Box 7 Social Security Tips The amount of tips reported by the employee to the employer during the calendar year.
Box 10 Dependent Care Benefits Total amount of dependent care withheld
Box 12 “See instructions for box 12” Code D:   401(k) retirement contributions

Code E:   403(b) retirement contributions–supplemental & basic

Code G:   457(b) Deferred compensation

Code AA: 401(k) Roth contribution

Code BB: 403(b) Roth contribution

Code DD: Health coverage costs (employee and employer portions), includes Health, Dental and Vision

Box 13 Retirement Plan “Retirement Plan” will be checked if enrolled in any basic retirement plan.
Box 14 Other The amount entered here is the amount withheld for CA SDI (State Disability) OR VPDI (University Voluntary Disability Plan) only. There is an annual limit on this amount.
Box 15 Name of State The employee’s tax residence state
Box 16 State Wages, Tips, etc. This is your state taxable wages (total gross wages less all reduction items such as health, dental, and vision insurance, parking, retirement, etc). This amount might not equal the year to date total gross wages on your last paycheck for the year. For most employees this figure will match Box 1. If you are a non-resident alien receiving a 1042S for tax-exempt wages, this amount might be different than Box 1.
Box 17 State Income Tax The total amount of state tax withheld in the calendar year, including “additional withholding”
Box 18 Local Wages, tips, etc. The total of locally reportable wages, less reductions, such as city, county, or school district
Box 19 Local Income Tax The total amount of California State Disability tax withheld in the calendar year. There is an annual limit.
Box 20 Locality Name The name of the locality (city, county, school district, etc) for which local taxes were withheld

If you believe your W-2 is incorrect…

If you believe your W-2 is in error or you have questions, email University Payroll Services at payroll@usc.edu with full details of your question or concern. Include your name, USC ID, and contact information. However, do not include your Social Security Number or ITIN, and do not attach a scan of your W-2 and/or 1042-S. Email is not secure.

1095-C

Form 1095-C, under the Affordable Care Act, gives information about health care coverage provided or offered to benefits-eligible employees and their dependents during the previous year. Much like a W-2, which includes information about the income you received, the 1095-C provides information that you may need when you file your individual income tax return. Also like a W-2, USC will file the 1095-C with the IRS. You are not required to file this form with your tax return. The form contains personal information about you and your dependents.

USC is required to provide this form to you by March 4, and like the W-2 you can opt to receive it online or on paper, but you register for electronic access in Workday – and once you have registered, each year’s 1095-C will be provided to you securely via Workday.

All benefits-eligible employees are urged to consent to electronic receipt which provides multiple benefits:

  • Access is available at the same easy-to-use, secure website at which you access your wage and general account information
  • Earlier access to your Form 1095-C for tax preparation purposes
  • No possibility your tax document might be lost, stolen, delayed or misplaced by the U.S. mail service or by a family member once received
  • Secured access can be attained even if you are not presently at your residence (for example, if are at a remote job location)
  • Electronic delivery saves on delivery costs and supports the university’s sustainability efforts

To consent to receive your electronic 1095-C now in Workday:

  1. Log into Workday
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner
  3. Click “View Profile”
  4. Click “Actions” under your name
  5. Under the heading “Actions” there is a subheading called “Benefits” – in the dropdown box under Benefits, click “Change 1095-C Printing Election”
  6. Read the consent and click “Receive electronic copy of 1095-C”

If you need help, contact the HR Service Center at uschr@usc.edu or (213) 821-8100. For additional questions about Form 1095-C and how it may affect your individual tax return filing, see this IRS website.

A few additional Q&As about the 1095-C:

What’s the purpose of the 1095-C? – the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, includes both the individual mandate and the employer mandate. The individual mandate requires that most Americans have qualifying healthcare coverage or potentially face a fine. Much like the Form W-2 is used to determine whether or not you owe taxes, the IRS will use the information reported on your Form 1095-C to determine whether you were eligible for or enrolled in qualifying health care coverage or whether you may have to pay a fine for failing to comply with the Affordable Care Act.  Think of the form as your “proof of insurance” for the IRS if you enrolled in coverage through USC. (Note that starting with the 2019 taxable year, for which you’ll file tax returns in 2020, the individual mandate fine for not having qualifying healthcare coverage no longer applies. However, USC may still have to provide you with a Form 1095-C in order to satisfy its reporting obligations under the employer mandate.)

What do I do with the 1095-C? – Keep this form with the materials you give to your tax preparer. If you prepare your own taxes, you may need to refer to this information as you prepare your return to confirm whether you or your family members were eligible for or enrolled in health care coverage offered by USC. However, in most cases, employees know whether they had health coverage and do not need this form to complete their tax returns.

  • If the Form 1095-C shows coverage for you and everyone in your family for the entire year, check the full-year coverage box on your tax return. 
  • If there are months when you or your family members did not have coverage, determine if you qualify for an exemption or must make an individual shared responsibility payment. 
  • If you enrolled in a health plan in the Marketplace, you may need the information in Part II of Form 1095-C to help determine your eligibility for the premium tax credit. Otherwise, the information in Part II of your Form 1095-C is not relevant to you.

What information is in the 1095-C? – The Form contains three parts:

Part 1 includes general information about you and USC.

Part 2 includes information about the coverage USC offered to you and your dependent(s).

Part 3 includes information about the individuals enrolled in self-insured healthcare coverage, including dependents, but may be blank if:

  • No one was enrolled in coverage for any month of the year 
  • The coverage was through a fully-insured plan
  • You are a union employee

Are there other Forms 1095 I could receive? – You may also receive the following IRS forms:

  • IRS Form 1095-C from other employers if you worked for more than one employer in 2018;
  • IRS Form 1095-B from a health insurance carrier, or from a multiemployer plan, if you were enrolled in a fully-insured and/or multiemployer plan in 2018; and/or
  • IRS Form 1095-A from a Marketplace/Exchange, if you enrolled in Marketplace/Exchange coverage in 2018. 

1042-S

A 1042-S form is a year-end tax document provided to a Non-Resident Alien who:

  1. Received wages protected by a tax treaty, OR
  2. Received a Non-Qualified Scholarship (a scholarship or fellowship paid to a non-resident), OR
  3. is a Non-Resident Alien short-term International visitor (STIV)
Income Code Description
11 Motion picture/TV copyright royalties
12 Other royalties
16 Scholarship or fellowship grants (Non-Qualified Scholarship)
17 Non-Resident Alien Short Term International Visitor (STIV) (Independent Svcs)
18 Dependent Personal Services – Canadian employees and J-2s
19 Compensation for teaching – Nonstudent J-1, H-1B, O-1 and Trade-Nafta employees
20 Compensation during studying and training (F-1 employees, and J-1 students)
23 Other income

A 1042-S will be generated for each of the above. The 1042-S will indicate the income code, which describes the type of income. In certain cases, you may receive multiple 1042-S forms or a W-2 form in addition to a 1042-S form. The income code is tied to your immigration status. A person on F1-OPT who is faculty will be paid under income code 20, for example.

The form(s) will be mailed to you by no later than January 31 of each year to the address that appears on your pay slip in Workday as of December 31 of the previous year. At this time, electronic delivery is not available. Make sure your address is correct in Workday by December 30 so that your 1042-S can be delivered in a timely manner. NOTE to student employees: Updating your address through OASIS or Glacier does not update your address in Workday. You must update your information in Workday. All address corrections must be successfully completed and approved before winter recess to ensure a timely and accurate delivery of your W-2.

Getting another or duplicate 1042-S

If you did not receive your 1042-S form(s) or need another one, you may request a duplicate by emailing University Payroll Services at payroll@usc.edu, sending postal mail to 3500 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 212, Los Angeles, CA 90089-8016, or inter-campus to mail code 8016. Include your full name at the time of your employment or payment, your date of birth, your employee number (7 digit found on your Workday payslip) AND your USC ID number (10 digit found on your USC Card), and your mailing instructions. The processing time is 3 to 5 working days after we receive your request.

How to understand the 1042-S

Box # Name Description
Box 1 Recipient Income Code This is a two digit code which both describes the type of income received, and is determined by your immigration status (F-1, J-1, etc)
Box 2 Gross Income The total amount received this calendar year on this income code.
Box 3a Exemption Code If treaty benefits were claimed, you will see “3” here
Box 3b Tax Rate If tax withheld, you will see the rate here
Box 4a Exemption Code This will be populated with “15”
Box 5 Withholding Allowance Generally this will be blank.
Box 7a Federal Tax Withheld The total amount of tax withheld on this income code
Box 10 Total Withholding Credit The total amount of tax withheld on this income code
Box 12a-i Withholding Agent USC’s information
Box 13a-l Recipient information Recipient information

If you believe your 1042-S is incorrect…

If you believe your 1042-S is in error or you have questions, email Payroll Services at payroll@usc.edu with full details of your question or concern. Include your name, USC ID, and contact information. However, do not include your Social Security Number or ITIN, and do not attach a scan of your 1042-S. Email is not secure.

1099-R

A 1099-R is provided to individuals for distributions from pensions, annuities, retirement or profit sharing plans, IRAs insurance contracts, etc. For questions and request for duplicates contact University Payroll Services at payroll@usc.edu or (213) 740-8855.

1099-M

A 1099-M form may be provided to individuals who receive payments greater than $600 through USC Business Services. Payroll Services does not issue 1099-M forms and cannot answer questions nor provide any assistance. For questions and requests for duplicates, visit the Business Services website at businessservices.usc.edu or email aphelp@usc.edu.

1098-T

A 1098-T form is provided to some students to alert them they may be eligible for federal income tax credits. Payroll Services does not issue 1098-T forms and cannot answer questions nor provide any assistance. For questions and requests for duplicates, visit the Student Financial Services website at https://sfs.usc.edu/1098-t-tax-forms/.