Round Two of SSA No-Match Letters Underway
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has begun mailing a second batch of Employer Correction Request Notices (EDCOR), or “no-match” letters, to employers for the 2018 tax year [SSA Website, EDCOR 2019 Letters].
In March 2019, the SSA began mailing notifications to employers identified as having at least one name and Social Security Number (SSN) combination submitted on Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) that do not match SSA records. The purpose of the no-match letter is to advise employers that corrections are needed in order for the SSA to properly post its employee’s earnings to the correct record.
As of April 26, 2019, the SSA mailed 577,349 EDCOR notices to employers covering no matches for the tax year 2018. In October and November 2019, the SSA is mailing out the remaining letters generated from processing Forms W-2 that do no match the SSA records for tax year 2018.
October 2019 no-match letter. There are some differences between the EDCOR notice sent to employers in March and April 2019 and the current October 2019 version being sent to employers through November.
First, there is no longer a request to respond to the SSA within 60 days of receipt of the letter. Next, the October 2019 letter stresses that employers not take adverse action against an employee because the EDCOR notice indicates a mismatch between his/her SSN or name as reported to the SSA. Finally, the October 2019 EDCOR notice adds an attachment containing detailed instructions on how to register for and use the SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) (see Payroll Guide ¶4261). A BSO account is required to view mismatches on an employer’s account and submit a correction electronically.
EDCOR notice questions employers ask. The SSA EDCOR webpage contains a list of questions employers ask about no-match letters. The list is broken into nine parts, starting with how to resolve a SSN or name mismatch.
The list explains that the employer is ultimately responsible for investigating the SSN and name mismatch error, regardless if the employer or a submitter uploaded the file to SSA, and runs though steps to follow to resolve a SSN and name mismatch.
Another section of questions address what employers can do in the future to avoid receiving EDCOR notices. Tips include verifying the SSN from the employee’s Social Security card on the free Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) (see Payroll Guide ¶4220).
Also, employers are advised to use the correct name format and to connect parts of a compound name with a hyphen or a blank space. If an employer does not have an employee’s SSN when the Forms W-2 are due, complete the SSN field by entering: “Applied For” in Box d on the paper Form W-2.
Further information. The SSA’s EDCOR webpage contains resources and free online tools to assist employers in viewing and correcting their records, including sample notices, step-by-step instructions to find and resolve errors, a video tutorial on how to resolve SSN mismatches and using the BSO system and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).