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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