What is Kind of Employer on IRS Form W-3?

The IRS Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, is summary form (or cover sheet) for the Forms W-2 that are filed with it. Box b – Kind of Employer gives the IRS more information regarding the employer to the IRS.

What is Form W-3?


It’s used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) to give more information about the employer of a filing. Form W-3 is used to summarize the contents of the Form W-2 filing. It includes the following:

  • Total Wages reported
  • Total FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes withheld
  • Total form count of the filing

Once again, the amounts shown on a Form W-3 are the total amounts reported in all of the W-2s.

If you need assistance with Form W-2, check out our Essential Guide: Mastering Form W-2 to learn everything you need to know to get started.

Kind of Employer

IRS Form W-3 box b – Kind of Employer is a list of five check boxes. Employers should check only one box that applies. If there are more than one type of Form W-2, then the employer should send a separate Form W-3 for each type.

The check boxes are as follows:

  • None apply
  • 501c non-govt.
  • State/local non-501c
  • State/local 501c
  • Federal govt.
Form W-3 Kind of Employer
Image of Form W-3 – Kind of Employer (highlighted)

Kind of Employer: None Apply

Employers should check this box only if none of the other boxes apply.

Kind of Employer: 501c non-govt.

This box should be checked if the employer is a non-government tax-exempt section 501(c) organization. Types of 501(c) non-government organizations include:

  • Private foundations,
  • Public Charities,
  • Social and recreation clubs,
  • Veterans organizations, etc.

Kind of Employer: State/local non-501c

This box should be checked if the employer is a state or local government or instrumentality. This includes:

  • Cities,
  • Townships,
  • Counties,
  • Special-purpose districts,
  • Public school districts, and
  • Other publicly owned entities with government authority.

Kind of Employer: State/local 501c

This box should be checked if the employer is state or local government or instrumentality, and they have received a letter from the IRS indicating that they are a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3).

Kind of Employer: Federal govt.

This box should be checked if the employer is a federal government entity or instrumentality.


Indicating the correct Kind of Employer is critical for the IRS to know what kind of W-2 forms are to follow. It is vital that each batch only include one type of employer checked for the entire report.

To help businesses determine whether a Form W-3/W-2 Filing or Form 1096/1099-NEC filing is required, we have made our interactive Employee Vs Contractor Questionnaire tool.

BoomTax, The Boom Post, and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors prior to engaging in any transaction.

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