UPDATE: Social Security Mismatch Letter Compliance
This article follows up on our first article on complying with Social Security mismatch letters. The new letters are somewhat different than letters sent in the past in that they do not attach the list of names and numbers which do not match. Rather, the letters instruct employers to log on to SSA’s Business Services Online site, to obtain a report of the names and numbers. A sample mismatch letter can be viewed here.
Once at the Business Services Online site, you have will to activate an account, which then allows you to utilize various services online. To go through the step-by-step process to view name and Social Security Number combinations that do not match, select the Report Wages to Social Security option. More information, and a full tutorial, can be accessed here.
You may have to sign up for the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) in order to obtain the “Employer Report” which is the list of mismatched names and numbers. Contrary to some rumors you may have heard, please note that this is not the same as E-verify (where you would verify names and numbers for new hires). E-verify is still voluntary only in California, and it is not something that the federal government can force you to do. There is an option under the SSNVS to check the name and number combinations prior to submitting W-2s, but again that is voluntary only, and is not something that you are required to do. Our clients in various areas who have already gone through this process have told us that it is relatively simple.
There may be a delay (up to several days) in obtaining the activation code necessary to access the online services and get the list of names and numbers. Also, when you receive the list, it will have the names and perhaps just the last four digits of the Social Security Number. A sample can be viewed here. Note that the list of names and numbers may state that it is “INFORMATIONAL and requires no further action,” however you should check the list against your records promptly, and follow the steps outlined in our first article, notifying the employees on the list, and so on. If there are errors in your records that require correction, do so using the form W-2C within 60 days of obtaining the list.
We will continue to keep you up to date as needed. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.The goal of this article is to provide employers with current labor and employment law information. The contents should neither be interpreted as, nor construed as legal advice or opinion. The reader should consult with Barsamian & Moody at (559) 248-2360 for individual responses to questions or concerns regarding any given situation.