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Payroll - FAQ for Tax Filing Forms


Payroll Office
Fax: 202-885-1033
New Mexico, Room 350

9:00am to 5:00pm

Payroll Office
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016


Fax: 202-885-1033
New Mexico, Room 350

Bonilla, Astrid L
Interim Director of Payroll

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8054

Frequently Asked Questions for Tax Filling Forms

1. I have not received my W-2 form. What should I do?

Please call the W-2 information line on extension 3580 or e-mail to We will verify mailing address and send you a copy.

Please have your full name, AU ID number (Colleague ID number) or

Social Security Number ready.


2. I lost my W-2. How can I get a duplicated copy?

A copy is available through the HR/Payroll Connection on the AU portal.

Click on the link for "W-2" and select the year(s). Follow the printing instructions.


3. I do not know the definition of each box on my W-2. Can you help me?

When you review your online W-2 on HR/Payroll Connections, please click each box title. A brief description will appear in the dialogue box.


4. My Social Security and Medicare wages are different from my

Federal and State taxable wages. Why?

There are two possible answers. 1) If you are a full-time student and worked part-time, you do not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. 2) If you are a full-time faculty or staff and chose a pre-tax retirement plan, the pre-tax retirement is deducted from your taxable income, but is not deductible from your Social Security and Medicare wages.


5. I think totals/amounts on my W-2 are wrong. How do I check?

Please contact the Payroll office. We will complete an inquiry form and do necessary research for you. A payroll specialist will get back to you with answers.


6. What is the Social Security wage limit for Calendar Year 2011?

The 2011 Social Security limit is $106,800.


7. I did not work at American University. Why did I get a W-2?

If you received a graduate financial aid award that has a learning/work requirement,the learning/work component is taxable income and reported on your W-2.


8. I received graduate tuition remission. Am I supposed to receive a W-2? 

If your graduate tuition remission award did not have a learning/work

component as a service requirement, although taxable, the University was not required to withhold taxes. Therefore, no W-2 form was issued.


9. What is the amount in Box 10 and Box 12 of my W-2?

Box 10 is your dependent care flexible spending account. Box 12, Code C is the taxable cost of group-term life insurance over $50,000. Code E is your pretax retirement plan amount. Code P is moving expense reimbursements paid directly to you, and this amount is not reported in Box 1. Code G is 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.



10. I had a tuition remission benefit as a staff member; however, I do not seem to see it reported on my W-2. Can you help me?

Based on IRS guidelines, tuition remission amount is not reported

separately on your W-2. The taxable amount is included in your FICA,

federal and state taxable income.


11. I am an international student and received a graduate financial aid award. 14% tax was deducted from my paycheck for the amount over and above my work component. Where do I see the tax amount?

The taxable portion of your work/learning component and tax amount withheld is reported on your W-2. You are referring to the remaining scholarship fund amount that has no work/learning component. It will be reported on a Form 1042-S along with the 14% tax that was withheld. According to IRS rules, we are required to send Form 1042-S to the individuals by March 15th although we make every effort to provide this form to you earlier. Please make sure that you use both Form W-2
and Form 1042-S for your U.S. tax return.     


12. I am an international student and received a foreign tax treaty benefit.

Would my W-2 or 1042-S be different from my friends?


Yes. Each individual may have a different situation. Please call the Foreign National Specialist in the Payroll Office if you have further questions.