The Social Security Administration (SSA) has officially stated that, beginning with electronic W-2 and W-2C forms filed for tax year 2014, they will no longer accept forms with invalid employer identification codes. In years past, SSA has made some attempts to correct invalid employer identification codes, but they say no more guessing games! Files will be processed as they are received, and rejected if necessary.
Upgrades to SSA processing software will automatically reject electronic W-2 forms and W-2C forms with invalid employer identification codes. These upgrades are expected to be in place by May. Among the data that must be valid are:
- Employer identification number (EIN)
- Codes for employment type
- Tax jurisdiction
- Tax year
Forms would also be rejected if they have dollar values other than zero that are invalid for a tax year, tax jurisdiction or employment type.
This stricter enforcement will have no bearing on SSA handling of W-2’s and W-2C’s that can’t be processed because of mismatched names or SSN. The W-2’s with invalid employer identification codes would be rejected before they got to the name/SSN matching step in the process.
On a not-so-friendly reminder note, rejection notices for rejected 2014 forms will not notify employers of any details of the errors that caused their file to be rejected. Rejection notices will direct an employer to the Business Services Online website to find out exactly why their file has been rejected.
On a friendly reminder note, using SSA’s Accuwage software to submit test files before submitting final files should eliminate any issues with invalid employer identification codes. Accuwage is free and is available to download from the SSA website.