After September 2017, AccuWage, a Social Security Administration service, will not be available as a software download and install, SSA program manager Scott Pedersen said May 16.
AccuWage Online, which was implemented in 2016, is to be updated in September, Pedersen said. AccuWage is a test platform that employers should use to identify whether the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, files to be sent to the Social Security Administration are correct.
Employers should send Form W-2 and Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, files as zip files for easier transmission, Pedersen said.
The Social Security Administration plans to expand its Electronic Wage Reporting Web Service that was released in March, Pedersen said. The service allows automated submissions and responses and requires only one Business Services Online account for submission, he said. This is part of the administration’s emphasis on more electronic filing, he said at the annual American Payroll Association Congress in Orlando, Fla.
The Social Security Number Verification Service, part of the Business Services Online platform, is much better than a Social Security card, said Kirk Jockell, a Social Security Administration employee-service liaison officer. The service helps employers ensure that the names and Social Security numbers that they enter for their employees match those in the administration’s system, he said.
The Social Security Administration processes about 240 million W-2s annually, Jockell said. About 97 percent of the names or Social Security numbers that are submitted to the administration match those in the administration’s system. Three percent of the submissions are mismatches, he said.
Employers should not wait until Jan. 31 each year to file W-2s, Jockell said. Employers no longer receive an automatic approval when they file Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, he said, adding that employers now must provide the administration with a good reason for not filing on time.
Employers that file using the administration’s Business Services Online can delete W-2 files that may contain errors while the status of the files is “received,” which is something most employers do not know, Jockell said; however, after a file has been processed, employers must submit Forms W-2c, he said.
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