Confused about a specific term or acronym? Solve the mysteries of terminology with this informative resource. Updated regularly with industry-specific vocabulary and concepts, the Glossary provides easy-to-understand definitions of tax-related terms.


W-2 A statement of an individual's annual wages and taxes provided by an employer that must be included with the employee's federal, state, and city income tax returns.

W-3 - Transmittal of Income and Tax Statements A form summarizing a company's total wages and tax withholdings. The W-3 accompanies a W-2 statement and is to be filed with the Social Security Administration.

W-4 - Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate A government form used to indicate the number of personal exemptions an employee wishes to claim.

Wage and Separation Report A form used by a State agency to request a report from a base period employer regarding the wages earned by the claimant and reason(s) for separation from employment.

Wage Assignment An employee's voluntary transfer of wages for payment of an installment loan or purchase. For example, you might use a wage assignment to make payments for health and life insurance, savings plan, car loan, or mortgage.

ADP’s WGPS feature does not handle wage assignments; if an employee requests a wage assignment, enter it as a voluntary deduction and disburse it manually.

Wage Attachment An employee's involuntary transfer of wages for payment of a support order, federal or state tax levy, creditor garnishment, student loan, or bankruptcy.

Wage Base The amount of an employee’s pay that is subject to wage garnishment (also called the lien basis). The lien wage base varies by lien type and jurisdiction. Often it is disposable income—that is, gross pay minus taxesand other earnings or deductions required by law

Wage Claim Penalty A penalty assessed by a State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) agency when an employer fails to provide a timely response to an unemployment claim.

Wage Credits Wages earned by persons working in employment covered by State unemployment compensation laws.

Wage Detail Typically referring to the Employee Quarterly Wage Detail Report which must be filed with SUI returns and some returns for cities or localities.

Wage Garnishment Processing Service An ADP value-added service that automatically prioritizes, calculates, and deducts employee wage garnishments and disburses them to the appropriate payee.

Wage Record Individual name, SSA number, wages and hours worked information.

Wage Report A quarterly report by a subject employer listing the name, SSA, wages and hours worked of an individual workers in employment during the quarter.

Wages Employee earnings.

Wage Withholding An automatic deduction of all or part of an employee’s wages to pay some debt or financial obligation such as child support. Wage withholding can be voluntary or involuntary

Waiting Period A week of unemployment for which a claimant does not receive compensation but must meet the same eligibility requirements that are necessary to qualify for receipt of compensation for subsequent weeks of unemployment during the benefit year. (In some States, the waiting period, after specified periods of unemployment, may become compensable.)

Waiver Referring to the authorization a client gives to ADP to debit additional taxes from its bank account with no waiting period. This is also called Immediate Authorization to Charge.

Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) The amount payable to a claimant for a compensable week of total unemployment.

Weekly Earnings Allowance The amount prescribed by law that a claimant may earn during a week without any reduction in the weekly benefit amount for that week.

Week of Partial Unemployment A week in which an individual works less than regular full-time hours for his/her regular employer because of lack of work, and earns less than the amount specified in the definition of a week of total unemployment but more than the allowable earnings prescribed by the State unemployment compensation law, so that, if eligible, the individual receives less than his/her full weekly benefit payment.

Week of Unemployment Any week during which an individual is totally or partially unemployed.

Weeks Claimed The weeks covered by intrastate continued claims and interstate continued claims taken as agent State for which waiting period credit or payment of compensation is requested.

Weeks Compensated The number of weeks of unemployment for which benefits are paid.

WGPS See Wage Garnishment Processing Service.

Wire Transfer A special banking arrangement that enables an ADP client to transfer monies for tax liabilities directly to ADP's Tax Impound Account. A reverse wire transfer is where ADP initiates the request to the client's bank to debit the client's account. A direct wire transfer is where the client initiates the request.

Withholding Allowances For each withholding allowance claimed, the employee reduces the amount of wages subject to federal income tax withholding.

Withholding Rate Total percentage of withholding for a taxing jurisdiction.

Witness By broad definition this is a person who offers testimony at a hearing. The most important type of witness is the first-hand witness. This is a person who actually took part in, or viewed the incident(s) that lead to the separation of the former employee. In cases of a voluntary quit, it is the person who accepted the resignation. In cases of a discharge, it is the person who was present at the incident that caused the employer to make a decision to discharge the employee. Other types of witnesses include policy experts (Human Resources) and technical experts (technicians, medical personnel) who may not have taken part of the events directly, but do have relevant information to offer at a hearing.

Worked In The city in which an employee works.

Workers Compensation A state administered insurance covering worker’s job related injury and illness. Providing the employee with a percentage of their wages while unable to work.

Work sharing A plan that an employer uses to avoid employee layoffs, by reducing the work hours of a group of employees. The employees may collect partial unemployment benefits to supplement their income. Requirements vary from state-to-state and an employer should carefully review those requirements prior to committing to such a program.