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W-2 taxable income question

  1. Apr 11, 2015 #1
    On the W-2, what is the taxable income shown (box 1)? Is that the total amount of money I got to keep on each check, or is it the total amount each check was before taxes were taken out.

    In other words, which of the following is right: box 1 + box 2 = total money earned before tax OR box 1 - box 2 = total amount of money i got to take home? (box 2 is taxes withheld)

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2015 #2
    If it asks for "taxable income", it means the total amount each check was before taxes were taken out.

    I mean, it doesn't make sense that after I charge you taxes I go and say: "Hey, that amount you have left is still going to be charged MORE taxes." Therefore, what was left (what you got to keep), cannot possibly be taxable income.

    EDIT: As a matter of fact, what you got to keep after taxes were charged shouldn't even be called income. It should be called instead "leftovers." And they are not asking for leftovers. :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  4. Apr 11, 2015 #3
    Well it depends what you claim... if you have zero deductions, then you won't have anything withheld from your paycheck, and you owe them money still.
  5. Apr 21, 2015 #4
    Taxable income is the gross income of an individual or corporation, less any allowable tax deductions.Taxable income can include wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions and tips. Online tax calculator is the best option to calculating taxable income.
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