Question: As part of our year-end process, we look back to the preceding year just to make sure that everything was wrapped up correctly. We found that an employee who worked for two divisions of the company earned a total of $10,000. However, both divisions filed separate W-2s for him reporting the same $10,000, for a total of $20,000. Subsequently, one of the divisions filed a W-2c form to correct its error. The employee has now informed us that $0 wages have been credited to his earnings account. What’s the best way for us to reinstate his earnings?
Answer: Under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) offset program, it will treat the second W-2 as a duplicate and subtract the second $10,000. Filing a W-2c after the offset, therefore, zeros everything out.
Rule of thumb: If employees get two W-2s on which the same wages are reported, don’t file a W-2c form; instead contact the SSA at (800) 772-6270.
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