Here we go again! Hard to believe that it’s already time to start prepping for year-end.
The good news is, you and your team have so many resources at your disposal now that you can practically ensure you don’t see those W-2s and 1099s again once they go out the door.
If you take advantage of them.
Now’s the time to make sure your staffers are utilizing the online tools provided by IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) for key information reporting duties:
- The Social Security Number Verification Service
- AccuWage Information and Software, and
- The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Online Matching.
Here’s a rundown of what each can do for you so you’re confident you’re covered.
Online Resource No. 1: The Social Security Number Verification Service
The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to W-2s is submitting returns where the employees’ SSN doesn’t mesh with what the Social Security Administration has on file.
That sentences your payroll staffers to corrected returns (W-2cs). No thank you.
Which is why running your data through the Social Security Administration’s verification service makes sense. You can one of two routes, depending on the volume you’re dealing with:
- Verify up to 10 names and SSNs (per screen) online and receive immediate results. This option is ideal to verify new hires.
- Upload overnight files of up to 250,000 names and SSNs and usually receive results the next government business day. This option is ideal if you want to verify an entire payroll database or if you hire a large number of workers at a time.
Remember, you have to register in advance – if your company hasn’t yet, you’ll want to do so ASAP.
Get it here.
Online Resource No. 2: The AccuWage Information and Software
File your company’s W-2s electronically? Then this is a must-use site for you.
This resource allows your company to check your electronic W-2s for correctness before you transmit them to Social Security.
How it works: You download and install AccuWage/AccuW2C software on your PC. Then, you’ll specify the directory where your W2REPORT or W2CREPORT file is located. AccuWage/AccuW2C reads the file and will informs your company of any errors it detects. (The software scans for the most common format errors in W-2 submissions.)
Get it here.
Online Resource No. 3: The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Online Matching Program
Your A/P department will want to get involved with the final online resource, direct from the Taxman himself.
Similar to the SSA system for Payroll, the TIN matching system will make sure you don’t fall into one of the biggest traps companies make with 1099s: mismatched names and taxpayer ID numbers (TINs).
You have two options here, as well:
- Interactive TIN Matching will accept up to 25 payee TIN/Name combinations on-screen while
- Bulk TIN Matching will allow up to 100,000 payee TIN/Name combinations to be matched via a text file submission.
Regardless of which route you go, both programs will:
- match the payee name and TIN with IRS records
- decrease backup withholding and penalty notices, and
- reduce the error rate in TIN validation.
And the system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Get it here.
One note: With all these fed-created resources at your disposal, there are no excuses for sending out information returns with incorrect data … you can be sure that’s the stance IRS and SSA will take!