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2015 W-2s cast their last shadows

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in Payroll Management

Groundhogs scurry back home after they see their shadows. You have no such luxury. Paper W-2s are due to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the end of the month; e-filed forms are due by March 31. This checklist applies to e-filers who are using the SSA’s EFW2 filing specs.
  • When logging onto the SSA’s business services online portal, check your user ID characters. For example, a capital “O” can be mistaken for a zero, or a lowercase “l” can be mistaken for a one. Try the other choice if your first choice 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 that email from the SSA isn’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.

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