W-2 Information Mismatch Notices Sent To More Employers
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is sending a second round of notices to businesses and employers who submitted a Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) for 2018 that contained name and Social Security Number (SSN) combinations that do not match SSA records.
If the SSA cannot match the name and SSN reported on a Form W-2 with its records, it cannot reconcile employer wage reports and credit earnings to the record of a worker. When earnings are missing, the worker may not qualify for the Social Security benefits he or she is due, or the benefit amount may be incorrect.
When the SSA receives a Form W-2 that contain names and SSN combinations that do not match its records, it sends the employer a notice referred to by the SSA as Educational Correspondence (EDCOR). According to the SSA, reported names and SSNs may not agree with SSA records because of typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records.
In March 2019, the SSA began mailing notifications to employers identified as having at least one name and Social Security Number (SSN) combination submitted on Forms W-2 that does not match SSA records. The purpose of the EDCOR is to advise employers that corrections are needed in order for the SSA to properly post employee earnings to the correct record.
As of April 26, 2019, the SSA mailed 577,349 EDCOR to employers regarding corrections needed so the SSA can properly post 2018 employee earnings.
New round of notices. In October and November 2019, the SSA is mailing out the remaining EDCOR generated from processing Forms W-2 that do not match the SSA records for tax year 2018.
An attachment to the new EDCOR provides useful information about free online wage reporting tools, including how to view and correct name and SSN mismatches. Employers receiving EDCOR are encouraged to visit the Employer Correction Request Notices page. On that webpage, employers will find resources, including videos and instructions, to help them view and correct name/SSN mismatches.
According to the attachment, employers will need a free SSA Business Services Online (BSO) account to view the name and SSN mismatches referred to in their EDCOR. The employer's BSO account should include the BSO Suite for Employers that includes the “Report Wages” and “View Wage Report Name/SSN Errors” services to view the name/SSN mismatch. the attachment contains detailed instructions on how to set up a BSO account or to add the necessary services to an existing BSO account.
The attachment also includes instructions on how to view mismatches on BSO and information on how to resolve any name/SSN mismatches the SSA identified.
The EDCOR notes that an employer's receipt of an EDCOR does not imply that the employer or employee intentionally provided inaccurate information about the employee's name or SSN to the SSA. And, the EDCOR cautions employers receiving an EDCOR against taking adverse action against an employee just because the EDCOR identifies a mismatch between the employee's name or SSN and the SSA's records.