In the spring of 2019 the Social Security Administration (SSA) started sending out “no-match” letters. These letters are to inform employers that the W-2 given to an employee(s) has information that doesn’t match the agency’s files. Specifically, the information in question is the employee’s name and Social Security Number (SSN).
The SSA says these letters are meant to let employers know that corrections are needed. If an employee’s name and SSN don’t match what the SSA has on file then the wages won’t be credited to the employee correctly. This can result in a person not receiving, or only partially receiving, their social security benefits in retirement.
How Does A Mismatch Happen?
There are a number of ways this can happen and the best time to confirm employee information is before new hire reporting is done. The majority of cases are simple typos on forms and sometimes a change isn’t recorded properly like a name change due to marriage. There are of course some cases where an employee purposely gives a false SSN.
Not everyone is onboard with these letters as some lawmakers have expressed concern that a no-match letter could result in an employee’s undue firing because of an employer not understanding the letter.
What Do I Do If I Receive One?
The first thing to do if you receive one of these letters is to confirm the information you have with your employee’s social security card. If it doesn’t match, request the correct information from your employee. You will likely need to file some amendments if a correction is needed. If the information does match your employee’s social security card ask your employee to check with your local SSA office and correct the SSA files.
The SSA has provided a few answers to frequently asked questions which can be found at: https://bit.ly/2Yv87M6.