Employers – you can verify employee SSN’s online

Today’s post is about the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) a useful tool included as one of the Social Security Business Services Online (BSO).  

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. With one registration, firms that handle payroll services for multiple employers can use SSNVS, and the other Social Security business services, for all clients.

Last week I wrote about the BSO registration process, including security features. For SSNVS, an additional security feature exists. Before SSNVS can be used, an activation code is mailed to the employer address as shown on Social Security records. This activation code must be input before SSNVS can be used.

You can use the Social Security Number Verification Service two ways:  immediately verify the SSN of an employee online or complete an overnight verification for a large number of employees. 

Immediately verifying the Social Security number (SSN) of a newly hired employee online with SSNVS saves your business money and time. If the provided SSN does not match, the employee can contact Social Security to correct the record so that your business W-2 wage reports process successfully. This is especially valuable in areas of high employee turnover, including the hospitality industry. Even if the employee is long gone by year’s end, you know the employee’s SSN is correct and that your wage report will be accurate.

SSNVS is to verify the SSN of current or former employees for wage reporting (W-2) purposes. Failure of a SSN to match can occur for many reasons. It does not imply that false information was intentionally provided nor does a mismatch make any statement about employee immigration status. 

During December 2011, the second of three Social Security webinars about Business Services Online described the Social Security Number Verification Service. Although some website images have since changed, the basic process remains the same. You might find it useful. 

Many employers ask to see the Social Security card of new employees.  Do you really need to see the card? 

More will be posted about Social Security Business Services Online. For more information now, go to http://www.ssa.gov/employer/.

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