State Agencies Bulletin No. 1890

Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) for Calendar Year 2020
Date Issued
January 6, 2021


The purpose of this bulletin is to inform agencies of the content information for the 2020 Form W-2.

Affected Employees

All employees who receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement for calendar year 2020 are affected.


According to IRS Publication 5, (Circular E) for 2020, and the Instructions for Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement), employers are required to furnish each employee with a Form W-2 by January 31, 2021.

Effective Dates

2020 Form W-2s will include earnings paid in paychecks dated:

Administration: 01/08/2020 through 12/23/2020

Institution: 01/02/2020 through 12/31/2020

Employees who worked for more than one agency in the same company during the year, for example, State of New York (NYS) or City University of New York (CUNY), will receive only one (1) Form W-2.

Employees who worked for more than one agency in multiple companies, for example, both NYS and CUNY, will receive a Form W-2 for each company.

Attachment A provides a detailed breakdown of the information that will appear in each box of the Form W-2 Statement.

Additional Employee Information

Employee’s should retain their last paycheck/direct deposit advice statement for 2020 as record of amounts paid in 2020 for the following that are excluded from Boxes 1, 3, and 5 and do not appear on Form W-2:

  • Nontaxable Health Insurance
  • NYS-Ride Transportation Benefit Program
  • CUNY Pre-tax and After-tax Transit Benefit
  • CUNY Transit Benefit Transportation Spending Account Program
  • Tax deductible Union Dues

For CUNY employees only, deductions for Dependent Care, Health Care Flex Spending Account, and Nontaxable Health Insurance are reported in Box 14 as IRC 125.

Starting with the 2020 Form W-2s, the IRS is allowing employers to mask the first 5 digits of employee’s Social Security numbers on their printed W-2s. Reprinted W-2s, either through New York State Payroll Online (NYSPO) or by agencies, will have the employee’s full Social Security number.

Taxable Gross Calculations

The Taxable Gross Calculations attachment shows the components of the Federal, Social Security, and Medicare Taxable Gross amounts.

W-2 Distribution

The agency address will be used as the return address for the 2020 Form W-2 Statements.

For employee’s who did not opt out of receiving a 2020 paper form W-2, OSC will mail Form W-2 to employee’s mailing address currently listed in PayServ. If no mailing address exists, the form will be mailed to the employee’s home address.

Note: IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT ENCLOSED will appear on the outside of the Form W-2 Statement.


Questions regarding this bulletin may be directed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.