Knowing how to read a Form W-2, or Wage and Tax Statement, can help you understand your total overall compensation, and also help you get a head start when preparing your taxes. Not all the information recorded in the boxes of your W-2 is necessary when filing your taxes. Often, the amounts recorded are never transferred to your tax return. They are just there to show you the different income base for different taxes or to record other information, such as union dues.
While there are a variety of different forms your W-2 can take, they all contain the same information.