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Member II

What does the code W in box 12 of my W-2 mean?

I have this code and a dollar amount in box 12 on my W-2 - what does it mean? Do I have to enter it into TurboTax?

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TurboTax Specialist

What does the code W in box 12 of my W-2 mean?

A Code W in Box 12 of your W-2 Form indicates that you had employer contributions (including employee contributions through a cafeteria plan) to your employee health savings account (HSA). It also means that you have a high deductible health insurance plan.


  • A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-free, interest-bearing account used to pay qualified medical expenses
  • A high deductible health plan (HDHP) is health insurance with a lower premium and higher deductible than a traditional health plan. Having an HDHP is one of the requirements for a health savings account (HSA).


Yes. You are required to enter the code and dollar amount listed in box 12 on your tax return as you may owe tax if you used funds from the account for non-medical purposes. You may also owe a penalty if you contributed more than the maximum allowed amount for 2017.


Since your new to reporting an HSA account, it may help to get familiar with thetax forms you may not be familiar with:

  • Form 5498-SA, which doesn't need to be filed.
  • Form 1099-SA, if you used funds in your HSA to pay for medical expenses.
  • Form 8889, which reports HSA information on your tax return.


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