Avoid Penalties – Ensure Accuracy of Wage Reporting

The Social Security Administration has started mailing informational notifications to employers that submitted W-2s for 2017 that contained mismatched name and Social Security numbers, based on agency records. 200,000 notification letters are sent every two weeks. The notification informs the employers that they are to receive an educational correspondence letter in 2019 with a request to review and correct business records. SSA letters for W-2s filed for 2018 will start going out in February 2019.

The SSA notes on its website that there are several reasons why reported names and numbers may disagree with SSA records, such as typos, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records. Penalties for these types or errors can be assessed up to $260 per W-2 in 2018 and $270 in 2019.

Employers can ensure the accuracy of wage reporting for their employees by registering for the SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) portal. From the portal, employers may review name and Social Security number information submitted on the W-2, find and resolve errors, verify Social Security numbers and learn what to do if there is a mismatch with federal records.