TN 3 (10-94)

RM 01105.007 SSA's Role In Improving the Quality of Wage Reports

A. Background

An IRS Tax Forms Coordinator for SSA has been designated in the Office of Retirement and Survivors Insurance (ORSI). This office is responsible for:

  • Obtaining copies of proposed revisions to IRS forms and publications affecting wage or SEI reporting from IRS early in the drafting stages.

  • Coordinating SSA's comments on the desirability of proposed revisions to IRS forms and publications.

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of IRS wage and SEI reporting forms based upon actual SSA experience with the way employers have used them in recent filings.

  • Proposing to IRS needed or desirable revisions to wage and SEI reporting forms and publications.

  • Serving on the Interagency IRS Forms Review Committee that meets periodically to discuss improvements in IRS forms.

NOTE: For a description of other aspects of SSA's quality improvement efforts in the wage reporting area, see RM 01103.011.

B. Policy

The following list of common reporting errors may help you respond to queries, prepare for educational contacts with employers, or analyze particular wage report errors arising in claims or preclaim cases:

1. Common paper report errors

For paper reports common errors are:

  • Dollar amounts are in the wrong fields (e.g. Social Security tax shown in the Social Security wages field).

  • Preaddressed mailing label IRS sent to employer is not affixed to the Form W-3 (so that the employer identification data must be keyed instead of scanned and imaged).

  • Strikeovers, whiteouts, and linethroughs of data make the wage report unscannable by SSA's automated equipment. Instead of using these, the filer should make corrections by checking the “void” box on the incorrect W-2 and completing a new W-2.

  • Improper cents entries in money fields (e.g. dash entered instead of “.00”).

  • Incorrect tax year is shown.

  • Employee Social Security number or employer's identification number (EIN) is omitted or erroneous.

  • Money amounts on W-2's do not balance to Form W-3 summary totals.

2. Common magnetic media errors

For magnetic media reports, common errors are:

  • Negative dollar amounts included (only positive amounts should be reported).

  • Dollar amounts are out of balance within the report.

  • Fields are not properly formatted (e.g. sequence of employee first names and surnames are not consistent within the report).

  • Social Security wage maximum has not been updated from the maximum amount applicable in the previous tax year.

  • Tax year has not been changed to show the current tax year.

  • Incomplete or discrepant transmitter record (Code A), basic authorization record (Code B) and/or employer record (Code E). See SSA's TIB-4 publication described in RM 01105.009C.1.b. for more information about these fields.

C. Procedure

If the results of development to resolve an earnings issue or employer complaint indicate that an IRS form's format, design, or instructions are causing wage reporting errors, bring such situation to the attention of SSA's Tax Forms Coordinator. Direct memorandum through appropriate component channels, to:

Office of Retirement and Survivors Insurance
ATTN: Tax Forms Coordinator
3-F-26 Operations Building,
6401 Security Blvd,
Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0101105007
RM 01105.007 - SSA's Role In Improving the Quality of Wage Reports - 03/26/2013
Batch run: 03/26/2013
Rev:03/26/2013