If someone landed from Mars and the first thing they saw was a W2 -- technically the Internal Revenue Service Form W-2, Wage And Tax Statement -- they would probably have no trouble at all recognizing it as some kind of government document. What else could possibly have to be filled out in sixplicate.
You got it, old, new and medium growth forests are being slaughtered to fill the government's hunger for six copies of every Wage & Tax Statement issued anywhere in the 50 states. (For the record, Copy A is submitted to the Social Security Administration by the employer, Copy B is sent to employees and to be filed with those employees' federal income tax returns, Copy C is sent to employees for their own records; Copy D is retained by the employer; Copy 1 and Copy 2 are to be filed with the employee's state or local income tax returns.
While we don't know why the Internal Revenue Service didn't go A-F or 1-6, we can tell you why it gives you two copies "to be filed with the employee's state or local income tax returns (if any)." The extra copy is for brain dead idiots who chose to live in high-income ghettos -- like New York city -- where they can pay not one or two but three incomes taxes, federal, state and city.
At first glance, the W2 looks suspiciously benign . The first six bits of information asked for, in fact, are no brainers about addresses and ID numbers. Things quickly get more formidable from that point on since boxes 7 to 20 on the form are all about money matters. How much did you earn? How much was withheld for taxes? What was withheld for Social Security? What was withheld for Medicare? How much in tips does your employer -- who probably hates you -- want you to pay taxes on.
Whoa, you read that right. That's Box 8, where you employer tells the Feds how much tip income he estimates you've earned and not reported. Call us cynical, but we suspect that if you're sleeping with the boss that amount is going to be very low and if you were offered the chance to sleep with the boss and refused it's going to be really high.
Only in America.