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SS# wrong on W2 form

An employee just called her boss to state her SS# is wrong on her W2 form.
She did not provide her SS card for her I9 form at time of hire and we do not print it on employee pay stubs. Am I able to request that she bring in her SS card before I provide a corrected W2 form? I will need to file a W2 C and also correct wages for the state and I want something for our records too.

Comments

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    Yes can you ask her to show you her SS card prior to making any changes. If the rules have not changed, you cannot photocopy the SS card for I-9 but you can copy the SS card for payroll purposes. And if you take a hard look at the I-9 rules it is possible to have a valid I-9 without presenting a SS card.

    rrupertjadegurl
  • Hello David,
    A couple of clarifications re Social Security card copies.
    Per the Handbook for Employers M-274 https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/handbook-employers-m-274

    Section 3.0 Completing Section 1 of form I-9
    Note: Employees may voluntarily provide their Social Security numbers on Form I-9 unless you participate in the E-Verify program. Employees must provide E-Verify employers with their Social Security numbers. Employees who can satisfy Form I-9 requirements may work while awaiting their Social Security numbers.

    You may not ask an employee to provide you a specific document with their Social Security number on it. To do so may constitute unlawful discrimination. For more information on E-Verify, see Section 1.2 E-Verify: The Web-Based Verification Companion to Form I-9. For more information on unlawful discrimination, see Section 11.0 Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties for Prohibited Practices

    and

    Section 4.0 Completing Section 2 of Form I-9
    You must accept any document(s) from the Lists of Acceptable Documents that reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and relate to the person presenting them. You may not specify which document(s) the employee must present. Enter the document title, issuing authority, number, and expiration date (if any) in Section 2 from original documents supplied by the employee. If you choose to make copies of the documents, do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, or you may be in violation of anti-discrimination laws. Return the original documents to your employee.

    So, you may photocopy the documents used to verify employment eligibility provided that is done for all employees, If the employer is an e-verify employer, the employee is required to provide the SSN, but the employer may not require the employee to provide any specific document (i.e. Social Security Card) and it is not clear whether photocopying that document is allowed. I would guess not because the employee only has to provide the number and can simply fill it in on the form without producing any document.

    If the Social Security Card is not used by the employee to verify employment eligibility - for example, the employee presents a USA passport (List A document) the employer may not ask to see any documents from lists B or C and, therefore , cannot (or should not) photocopy any of the List B or List C documents to document verification of employment eligibility. That would be true even if the employee volunteers the documents since that has the potential to be construed as evidence of document abuse by the employer upon CIS audit.

    That falls under your usual caution to not collect or retain any information you don't need or are not required to have.

    jadegurl
  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    The argument I have read is that you can legally copy SS cards (if available) for payroll purposes, for the purpose of insuring that the correct SSN and exact spelling of the name is done. This is normally a two person job, one enters, one proofs. I then keep that copy as part of that periods payroll records. We had our very large labor law firm sign off on this practice.

    I agree with with Pat for I-9 purposes and do not recommend copying SS cards for I-9 purposes. I recommend that I-9s be maintained in a separate 3-ring binder(s), and that you annually self-audit these files. Dump any paper you are no longer legally required to keep and if you are missing paper, talk to the employee and FIX IT. If ICE audits, put them in a conference room, give the binder(s) and keep them well away from all other personnel files absent a court order saying otherwise.

    jadegurl
  • jadegurljadegurl ✭✭✭

    I understand about the I9 and documentation and beyond the initial hiring of the employee I do not have access to the I9 information as those documents are kept in HR In a separate binder as mentioned by @David Warren The employee did not supply a copy of the SS card at date of hire, other documents were used.
    We also use E-verify.

    My question is since HR is stating it was just a typo am I within my rights as the payroll manager to ask to see the document prior to issuing a corrected W2 form? If HR had a typo error entry, whose to say it would not happen again and I would rather not have to submit a W2c twice for the same employee. I'm actually a little miffed, this will be my first time submitting a W2c, their typo is ruining my record...

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    Yes. You can ask to see the correct SSN prior to revising the W2. You are never supposed to take ANYONE's word for something like this. And how does HR know it was a typo? In my experience HR just parrots whatever the last person told them.

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