Employers – You still have time to use BSO for 2012

Has your business registered to use the free Social Security Business Services Online (BSO) yet?  

As long as you register in time to meet your W-2 reporting deadlines, there is not a firm BSO registration deadline. Allow time for the process as well as how hectic this time of year can be. Register now. 

Several posts during September and October, easily reachable through the Business Services Category on my Areavoices homepage, discussed available BSO services and registration.  

Services include two ways to electronically file W-2s plus the Social Security number verification service (SSNVS), for online verification of employee Social Security numbers.

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. As one of several security measures, 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.  

BSO is growing. Of W-2’s for 2011, approximately 185 million (85.5 percent) were online. About 31.8 million (14.5 percent) were paper. Electronic W-2 transmission reduces your business paperwork, and provides you with an additional W-2 processing month. Were your W-2s electronic or paper?

BSO provides two methods to electronically transmit W-2s. Your business can create and transmit a data file from existing payroll software or use a Social Security provided W-2 template (W-2 Online). You can print copies suitable for distribution to employees with the SSA W-2 template.

Think your business is not large enough to use Business Services Online? Think again. For 2011, the average business using the W-2 Online template sent Social Security 5 W-2s.

When used for new employees, the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) avoids having incorrect employee Social Security numbers, saving your business additional workloads especially if the person was only a temporary hire. In 2011, the SSNVS was used 2.9 million times, with 105.8 million SSNs checked. Did your business make use of it?

 According to the BSO welcome page, beginning December 10, 2012, BSO will begin accepting W-2s and W-3s for Tax Year 2012. 

Has your business registered yet to use the free Social Security Business Services Online. You still can. Register now. Transmit your 2012 W-2s electronically. 

Have Business Services Online questions? Ask.

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