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By Howard Perlman and Michael Trimarchi
The Social Security Administration has processed more than 100 million 2014 Forms W-2 this year and sent the wage and tax statements to the Internal Revenue Service the next business day after processing, an SSA representative said March 5.
Fifty million Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, were processed the week of March 1, on par with the amount processed the week before, said Tom Bricker, program analyst and project manager at the SSA.
In 2012, the most recent year for which data regarding the total number of Forms W-2 filed for a year are available, about 226 million Forms W-2 for 2011 were filed.
As the SSA had expected, it encountered some electronic W-2s in 2015 that in past years might have been processed but which were rejected because of new validation processing implemented in May 2014.
For example, a filed set of electronic W-2s now could be rejected if one W-2 in the set has a lower total of taxable Medicare wages and tips than Social Security wages and tips, Bricker said during the monthly IRS payroll industry teleconference.
Bricker, who also spoke March 2 at the American Payroll Association's Capital Summit in Washington, said the agency's AccuWage online software application added clarity to errors on Forms W-2. AccuWage was redesigned in 2014 to aid employers in year-end payroll processing and to enable the SSA to send files to the IRS in less than 24 hours.
“If you have a file that comes up to use and gets rejected, we're pointing you to AccuWage to find what your errors are,” Bricker said
The agency now has a zero-tolerance policy for formatting errors, Bricker said. In the past, the SSA would try to determine what was intended on the W-2, such as inconsistencies in money fields, he said. In some cases, an error message now can be received when employers attempt to upload files to the SSA.
“As part of our redesign efforts, we're rejecting more things that we never rejected before,” Bricker said. “We're now sending them back to you to make corrections.”
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