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Send the groundhog packing! Avoid repeating EFW2 mistakes

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

In the movie “Groundhog Day,” the protagonist was destined to repeat the same day over and over again. If you’ll be e-filing your W-2s using the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) EFW2 filing specs, you can avoid repeating filing mistakes by taking a stroll through this checklist.

  √ When logging onto the SSA’s business services online, check your user ID characters. For example, a capital “O” can be mistaken for a zero, or a lowercase “l” can be mistaken for the numeral 1. Try alternative characters if your first try doesn’t work.

  √ Ensure that data files are in text format.

  √ Enter the correct tax year in the Employer Record (Record RE).

  √ Files may be compressed into the .ZIP format, but compress each file separately.

  √ Scan files for viruses before submitting them to the SSA.

  √ Configure anti-spam email software so messages from the SSA aren’t tagged as spam.

  √ Ensure that the user ID that’s assigned to the employee who is attesting to the accuracy of the W-2 data is included in the Submitter Record (Record RA). Also, include this employee’s phone number and email address; failure to do so may lead the SSA to reject the submission.

  √ Confirm that each data field is complete (Record RA through Record RF).

  √ Don’t create a file that contains data after the Final Record (Record RF).

  √ Avoid balancing errors by checking that employee wage records begin with RW and RO.

  √ Before transmitting data to the SSA, randomly sample from the beginning, middle and end of an employee record. What should match: the employee’s name, address, Social Security number, wages and taxes.

NEED HELP? Contact your state's SSA Employer Service Liaison Officer for last-minute questions.

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