State Agencies Bulletin No. 1984

Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) for Calendar Year 2021
Date Issued
January 7, 2022


The purpose of this bulletin is to inform agencies of the content information for the 2021 Form W-2.

Affected Employees

All employees who receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement for calendar year 2021 are affected.


According to IRS Publication 15 (Circular E) for 2021, and the Instructions for Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement), employers are required to furnish each employee with a Form W-2 by 01/31/2022.

Effective Dates

2021 Form W-2s will include earnings paid in paychecks dated 01/06/2021 through 12/22/2021 for Administration and 01/14/2021 through 12/30/2021 for Institution.

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

Employees should retain their last paycheck/direct deposit advice statement for 2021 for a record of amounts paid in 2021. The following information is 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.

As permitted by the IRS, the first 5 digits of employees’ Social Security numbers will be masked 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

Attachment B (Taxable Gross Calculations) 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 2021 Form W-2 Statements.

For employees who did not opt out of receiving a 2021 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.