How Do We Sleep at Night with All of These Payroll Reporting & Filing Acronyms?

It’s payroll processing time, so which acronym do you need today?  It is EFT or Electronic Funds Transfer.  This is the file format that is added to the direct deposit file to submit child support payments.  But don’t forget the EFTPS file.  This is the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System file format for sending the state withholding tax deposits through the ACH network electronically.

Now, for quarter end, this could get tricky depending on which state your company is in.  Each state is different, so the State Unemployment file format may be MMREF (Magnetic Media Reporting or Electronic Filing format.  Now, you may be confused, because this was the format the Form W-2s used before there was EFW2. Let’s discuss that later.

Another unemployment file format is ICESA.  This stands for Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies format.  This format indicates data is 275 bytes long with 6 types of information.  This format can be sent electronically or put on a diskette.  A large number of states follow this format.

So, what is FIRE?  This is a program for Filing Information Returns Electronically over the internet.

Finally, it is the end of the year, and we have to confirm all those Social Security Numbers match the employee records.  This could be done throughout the year.  So you can use the SSNVS online process or send an electronic file.  SSNVS is the Social Security Number Verification Service.

Moving onto the next step to prepare, register for the PIN number to be used for sending the electronic file for employee Form W-2 information.  To register and file, visit the Social Security Administration’s website and locate BSO or Business Services Online.

In the meantime, keep pulling together that W-2 information.  At one time the file format to send the file to SSA was MMREF, described above, but now it is called EFW2, or Electronic Filing of W-2s.  This is strictly a file format required for BSO.

Did you get all of that?  You know there are more, but these are some of the most common.  Hope you can sleep well tonight!  

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HR Tech Kim, Brown County

Running Payroll in Optimum is FUN!