TN 5 (12-92)

RS 02201.017 Conforming SSA Records to Tax Returns of Wages


Social Security Act - Section 205(c)(5)(F)

A. Policy

SSA may, after the time limitation has expired, conform its records to tax returns of wages filed by employers with IRS and wage reports and contributions returns filed by a State. This includes informational returns and other written statements.

Conforming of SSA records usually applies to cases where a correction return of wages has been filed. The amount of wages can be “conformed” to the amount shown on the correctional return.

If no wages are entered on the E/R but evidence of wages is established, correct the E/R under the exception “No Entry of Wages” (see RS 02201.008).

B. Definitions

A tax return of wages is:

1. Tax Return

  1. a. 

    A tax return (IRS Forms 941, 942, 943, etc. for years prior to 1978) filed by an employer with IRS which includes information showing wages paid under the Withholding of Income Tax at Source.

  2. b. 

    A wage report (Form W-2 or W-2c for years after 1977) filed by an employer with SSA. State and local employers reported wages:

    • quarterly for 1978-1980

    • annually on Form SSA-3963 for 1981

    • on Form W-2 for 1982 on.

  3. c. 

    Form W-3, Transmittal of Income and Tax Statement, submitted to SSA, which indicates the type of employer involved (e.g., agricultural, State and local, etc.) and includes all Forms W-2 submitted to SSA by the employer.

  4. d. 

    Informational return or other written statement if it meets any of the following conditions:

    • required by law or an IRS ruling; or

    • refers to a period for which tax liability exists; or

    • refers to a period for which tax liability no longer exists, but the employer has paid taxes upon filing or has waived immunity under the IRS statute of limitations; or

    • is a document which establishes the IRS either approved a refund of Social Security tax or assessed Social Security tax in connection with a wage investigation of an employer.

2. Filed With IRS

Filed with IRS means:

  1. a. 

    The employer has submitted the appropriate tax form (Form 941, 942, 943, etc.) to IRS, and

  2. b. 

    IRS has made, or will make, a determination as to the employer's Social Security tax liability/or has otherwise accepted the return as having been properly filed.

3. Delinquent Wage Return

A delinquent wage return is a wage tax return filed after it was due under regulations.

C. Process

1. Delinquent Wage Return

  1. a. 

    SSA revises an E/R at any time if IRS accepted and certified a delinquent wage return.

  2. b. 

    Wage items reported on a delinquent return become conclusive once they are posted to our records.

2. Tax Free Wage Returns

SSA corrects its record on the basis of returns which are filed pursuant to a requirement of IRS even if no taxes are paid. If IRS waives tax payments for a period, SSA conforms its records to the information returns if they are certified as such by IRS.

3. Correctional Wage Returns

SSA makes the necessary changes in records for all periods, including those which the time limitation has expired, to conform to:

  • IRS Form 941C, Statement to Correct Information (for years prior to 1978);

  • Form W-2c, Statement of Corrected Income and Tax Amounts (used for years after 1977);

  • equivalent documents as certified by IRS as a tax return.

NOTE: The changes as the result of the correctional return can be for either increases or decreases of wages.

D. Reference

See RS 01404.175 for accepting W-2c as evidence of wages.

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RS 02201.017 - Conforming SSA Records to Tax Returns of Wages - 02/02/1999
Batch run: 07/03/2014