The time is here.
As a followup to my July 26th, 2018 article, the Social Security Administration has started mailing those Employer Correction Request Notices (EDCOR) to employers who submitted their 2018 W-2 form containing employees names and Social Security Numbers that did not match the SSA’s records. A sample of the notice is provided here.
Since this notice is being sent to an employer with just one error, this will affect a large amount of businesses that it may take them several months to send out all of the notices. If you do not see one right away, it may not mean that you are not going to receive one. There are a number of reasons why a name and number do not match, such as a simple typo or a legal name change due to a marriage, all the way to the fraudulent use of a number by an illegal worker. With that said, the SSA is advising employers “not to take any adverse action against an employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against that individual”, just because the SSN does not match their records as it may violate State or Federal law.
When you do receive this notice, you will need to take action on it within 60 days. You are advised to setup an account with the SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) system to view the names and SSNs that could not be matched (the mis-matched employees are not identified on the letter) and to file a W-2C (corrected W-2) with any necessary corrections. If you do not have a BSO account, the registration and login process can be found here https://www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.
Of course the best way to avoid this for future years is to be proactive and validate SSNs not only at the time of hire, but just prior to year end when the W-2s are going to be produced. At the time of hire should eliminate the reason of a typo mis-match, and at year end will catch any employees who may have had a name change during the year. SSA provides a number of ways to validate SSNs, but your payroll provider can also assist in keeping you compliant.
For more information about the SSN, check out a fun article I wrote on the history last year https://blog.paymaster.com/a-history-and-education-about-the-ssn/
If you are a PayMaster client, then be sure you are taking advantage of one of the many ways we provide you with verifying and validating an employee’s SSN.
While I make every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in this article, the information is provided “as-is” without warranty of any kind. PayMaster, Inc or Romeo Chicco does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained. Consult with your CPA, Attorney, and/or HR Professional as federal, state, and local laws change frequently.