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Certain deductions, such as health insurance and retirement, reduce your taxable wages. If you do not have any pre-tax deductions on your paychecks, your Form W-2 wages should equal your annual gross wages. 

  1. Following is a wage base table showing how wages for boxes 1, 3, 5, and 16 on your Form W-2 are calculated

        Actual Gross Wages (as shown on your final pay stub)

    + Non-wage compensation (e.g., awards, gift certificates, non-cash taxable fringes, etc.)

    = True Wage Base                                                                          

    -   Pre-tax Insurances (2020 going forward parking pre-tax; 2019 was not pre-tax)                                                   

    +  Imputed Income (from box 12 code C of your Form W-2)     

    = Social Security & Medicare Taxable Base (Boxes 3 & 5)

    -  Retirement                                                                                     

    = Federal & State Taxable Gross (Boxes 1 & 16)


    Pay stub field references:

    UNC Charlotte pay stub payment summary sample

    UNC Charlotte pay stub pre-tax deductions sample

    UNC Charlotte pay stub imputed income sample

  2. Read this FAQ for details on the four wage amounts listed on your Form W-2


This information should help most employees reconcile their Form W-2 to their final pay stub and does not contain all possible adjustments. If you find that after making these adjustments to your Gross Pay YTD per your final pay stub, the result does not match Box 1, 3, 5, or 16, contact the Payroll Department at or our main line at 704-687-1919.

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