Getting Ready For W-2 Time – Social Security Business Services Online

Are you an employer?

Do you handle payroll services, whether for one business or many?

Has your business registered to use the free Social Security Business Services Online (BSO) yet?  Use of BSO is free but registration is required.

Although W-2 season may seem far away, now is a good time to prepare by making sure the Social Security number (SSN) information for your employees is correct.

Employers and third-party submitters can verify the names and Social Security numbers of current and former employees free for W-2 purposes using the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) through Business Services Online. Doing this now will make W-2 processing easier.

Two online SSNVS options are available for your use.

You can verify up to 10 names and SSNs (per screen) online and receive immediate results, an ideal option to verify new hires, or you can upload overnight files of up to 250,000 names and SSNs and usually receive results the next government business day to verify an entire payroll database.

An employee’s payroll record, W-2 form and Social Security number (SSN) card should all use the same name. It is recommended that this be the legal name so using William is a better choice than Bill. While a nickname such as Bill for William will match to Social Security records, not all names easily match up.

If an employee name and SSN does not match, refer him or her to the local Social Security office to correct their record. Name changes and all other Social Security number actions are provided for free by Social Security. See for instructions, needed evidence and a downloadable application. Protect your identity and be sure you are on the official SSA website.

Also using Business Services Online, you will be able to transmit your W-2 / W-2C data electronically by uploading a data file from your own software or other BSO options. You have an extended deadline when using this electronic W-2 reporting.

Register now, then verify employee Social Security numbers online and be ready to transmit your 2016 W-2 information electronically. As long as you register in time to meet your W-2 reporting deadlines, there is not a firm BSO registration deadline. Register now and be ready.

To learn more, from the Social Security website menu, go to the Business & Government section and click on Business Services.