Tax Forms 

Form W-4

Form W-4 is used to elect withholdings on your paycheck. Employees will complete a W-4 upon the hiring process. Subsequent changes to withholdings can be completed through Workday.  


Viewing & Updating Tax Withholding Elections (W-4)


New 2018 Tax Withholding Tables will be updated within Workday on January 20th

Form W-2

W-2 tax forms are available electronically within Workday.  For duplicate copies of W-2's prior to 2016, please contact payroll.   


Viewing Form W-2 in Workday


How will I receive a W-2?

Online Form W-2s

All Bowdoin employees will have access to an electronic version of their Form W-2 in Workday. To access your W-2, go to your Pay worklet, and select “My Tax Documents”. For more specific step-by-step instructions, see Viewing Form W-2s.

Protecting employee data continues to be a priority for the College. One step you can take to further protect your personal data is to add two-step login to your Workday account. Two-step login adds a second layer of security to your online information.

Paper Form W-2s

In addition to an electronic version, all employees will receive a printed version of their Form W-2.   

  • Student employees: W-2’s will be sent to your Smith Union box.
  • Faculty and Staff: W-2’s will be mailed to your home address.  Please be sure to check that we have your correct home address in Workday. Updates must be submitted before the end of the first week of January. Learn how.

How do I opt out of receiving a paper W-2?

If you prefer NOT to receive a paper copy of your Form W-2, you must modify the tax document printing options in Workday before the first week of January.  For step-by-step instructions, see Managing How You Receive the Form W-2.


How do I obtain a duplicate W-2?

If you misplace or do not receive your Form W-2, you can download a duplicate from Workday. To access your W-2, go to your Pay worklet, and select “My Tax Documents”.  For more specific step-by-step instructions, see Viewing Form W-2s.  

For a duplicate copies of W2's prior to 2016 please contact payroll.  

Can you walk me through the various W-2 boxes?

Please refer to “How to Read Your Form W-2”.

What if my name and/or social security number is incorrect on my W-2?

Please contact Lynne Toussaint ( / 207-725-3843) in the Controller’s Office so that a Form W-2C (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) may be issued to you.

What if my address is incorrect on my W-2?

An incorrect address does not invalidate your Form W-2 and does not require a corrected Form W-2. Since it is essential that our HR/Payroll system has your correct address, please update your address through Workday.

Why aren't all of my December earnings reflected in the W-2?

For tax reporting purposes, wages are reported when they are paid, rather than when they are earned. (e.g., hours worked within pay period 12/17/12-12/30/12 were paid on 01/04/13; they will be included in 2013 earnings.)

What are pre-tax deductions?

Pre-tax deductions are any amounts deducted from your gross earnings prior to tax calculations. They include 403(b) SRA retirement plan contributions, health, dental, short term disability and supplemental life insurance benefits, and flexible spending accounts.

Why does the amount in Box 1 not reflect my total earnings for the year?

The Form W-2 Box 1 amount represents federal taxable wages and other compensation. This would be different than the Gross Earnings on your paystub due to items that either decrease or increase your federal taxable wages such as FSAs for Medical and/or Dependent Care, health and dental insurance deductions, 403(b) SRA contributions, and group term life. Below please find a list of deductions/adjustments that impact your gross earnings for tax reporting purposes:


  • SRA Fidelity, SRA Vanguard, SRA Amer Cent
  • Medical EE, EC, ES, FF
  • Dental EE, EC, ES, FF
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • STD A


  • Group Term Life (GTL) premium value – this is the value of group term life insurance in excess of $50,000.

Why are my Box 1 wages (Federal) less than my Box 3 wages (Social Security) and Box 5 (Medicare) wages?

Box 1 (Federal)


  • Medical (MEDICAL EE, EC, ES, FF)
  • Dental (DENTAL EE, EC, ES, FF)
  • Supplemental life insurance (SUPP LIFE EE)
  • Short term disability (STD A)
  • 403(b) SRA contributions (SRA Fidelity, SRA Vanguard, SRA Amer Cent)


  • Group term life (GTL)

Box 3 (Social Security) and Box 5 (Medicare)


  • Medical (MEDICAL EE, EC, ES, FF)
  • Dental (DENTAL EE, EC, ES, FF)
  • Supplemental life insurance (SUPP LIFE EE)
  • Short term disability (STD A)


  • Group term life (GTL)

What is reported in Box 12?

Box 12 may include a code with an associated amount. The most common codes reported on a Form W-2 issued by Bowdoin College are:

  • C – Taxable value of group-term life insurance over $50,000 (included in boxes 1, 3 (up to social security wage base), and 5)
  • E – Elective deferral under a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement
  • BB – Designated ROTH contributions under a section 403(b) plan
  • DD- Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. The amount reported within Code DD is NOT taxable.

Why are the costs of employer-sponsored health coverage reported on my W-2? And, is it taxable?

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. Reporting the cost of health care coverage on the Form W-2 does not mean that the coverage is taxable. This reporting is for information purposes only and will provide employees useful and comparable consumer information on the cost of their health care coverage. The amount reported includes both the portion paid by the employer and the portion paid by the employee. For more information, please refer to and/or IRS’ You Tube video.

What is Group Term Life and why is it reported on my W-2?

The value of employer-provided group-term life insurance up to $50,000 is excluded from an employee’s income. The value of coverage in excess of $50,000 must be included in the employee’s income.