On September 24, I posted information about Social Security Business Services Online (BSO). Once registered for these free services, businesses can electronically transmit W-2 data and verify employee Social Security numbers online. Firms handling payroll services for multiple employers just register once to use BSO for all clients.
On that previous post, I included an image of the Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information page at http://www.ssa.gov/employer/. The link remains the same, but the page appearance changed yesterday. With other changes, the customer support link is now at the lower right of that page. This is specifically to help employers with wage reporting and other business services, not individual Social Security benefit questions.
To use Business Services Online, you or the appropriate people from your firm must register. Registration instructions are at http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ in the Handbooks, Tutorial & Videos section.
Registration is not difficult. Be aware that it includes information about both the business and the person registering. Those registering are asked for the business EIN number as well as their own name, Social Security number, and other information. A User ID and PIN is created for each person registering, not one for the business.
This is a security feature for your business. As part of the process, personal information is verified against Social Security records, including verification that the person was previously reported as an employee of the business. If needed, methods exist that allow a newly hired employee to register.
Within the registration process, different people can be provided the ability to use separate portions of Business Services Online. For example, a larger business might allow a person involved with hiring to verify the Social Security number of new employees while allowing a person working with payroll to electronically transmit W-2 data.
During November 2011, the first of three Social Security webinars about Business Services Online described the BSO registration process. Although some website images have since changed, the basic process remains the same. You might find it useful.
More will be posted about Social Security Business Services Online. For now, go to http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ for more information.