W-2 Reporting for FFCRA Leave Wages - Who, What, Where, How

Mar 8, 2020
Tax and Accounting


Welcome to Life Designers, your trusted partner in business and consumer services consulting and coaching. In this article, we will delve deep into the topic of W-2 reporting for FFCRA leave wages. Understanding this reporting requirement is crucial for businesses to comply with the regulations set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Let's explore the various aspects of W-2 reporting and how you can navigate the complexities effectively.

Who is Required to Report?

W-2 reporting for FFCRA leave wages applies to employers who are subject to the FFCRA and have provided paid leave to their employees due to qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. This includes private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public sector employers.

What Needs to be Reported?

When it comes to reporting FFCRA leave wages on Form W-2, employers must include the total amount of qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid to employees under the FFCRA. Specifically, the wages associated with Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLEA) must be reported separately.

It's important to note that the wages reported should not include the employer's share of Social Security or Medicare taxes. Additionally, any amounts over the maximum limits set by the FFCRA should not be reported.

Where to Report?

Reporting FFCRA leave wages appropriately on Form W-2 requires careful attention to the relevant boxes. Below is a breakdown of where the different components should be reported:

  • Qualified sick leave wages subject to the $511 per day limit (EPSL): Box 1 (Wages, tips, other compensation)
  • Qualified sick leave wages subject to the $200 per day limit (EPSL): Box 1 (Wages, tips, other compensation)
  • Qualified family leave wages (EFMLEA): Box 14 (if applicable) or in a separate statement provided to the employee

How to Effectively Manage FFCRA Leave Wage Reporting

Reporting FFCRA leave wages correctly can be overwhelming, especially for businesses dealing with multiple employees and varying leave scenarios. To ensure smooth compliance, consider the following tips:

1. Stay Updated on Regulations

Keep yourself informed about the latest updates and guidance provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). Changes or clarifications in regulations can significantly impact your reporting obligations, so it's crucial to stay up to date to avoid any penalties or compliance issues.

2. Maintain Accurate Records

Proper record-keeping is essential for accurate W-2 reporting. Maintain detailed records of the qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages provided to each employee under the FFCRA. This includes documenting the dates of leave, the reasons for the leave, and the corresponding wages paid. Having organized records will make the reporting process smoother and ensure consistency in your reporting.

3. Seek Professional Guidance

Consider partnering with a reputable consulting and coaching firm, like Life Designers, to guide you through the complexities of FFCRA leave wage reporting. With years of experience and expertise in business and consumer services, our team can provide tailored solutions and help you navigate the reporting requirements efficiently.


Reporting FFCRA leave wages accurately is crucial for businesses to adhere to legal obligations and maintain regulatory compliance. By understanding who is required to report, what needs to be reported, where to report, and how to effectively manage the process, businesses can ensure they meet the FFCRA reporting requirements with confidence. Trust Life Designers as your consulting and coaching partner to navigate the complexities of FFCRA leave wage reporting and other business-related challenges. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive services and solutions.