So What’s The Deal With That Mismatch Notification Letter?

Social Security Administration Issues Mismatch Notification Letters | Ohio CPA Firm
If you receive a mismatch notification letter, it will clearly state the reason why you’re receiving it and will detail the number of mismatches. Read on to learn what else to expect.

Mismatch Notification Letters Will Be Sent To Employers In 2019

Starting March 2019, employers should be on the lookout for mismatch notification letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These letters will be sent to employers that have filed at least one Form W-2 with a mismatch noted between an employee’s name and Social Security number. Those who have been filing documents correctly and on time, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about and shouldn’t receive anything from the SSA.

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It’s important to point out that these letters are not determinations of filing falsification or any other type of misconduct. However, in the event that a mismatch notification letter finds its way to you, you should act quickly and resolve any issues with your filing before any further action is taken by the SSA.

Receiving A Mismatch Letter

If you do receive a mismatch notification letter, it will clearly state the reason why you’re receiving it and will detail the number of mismatches as well as directions to Business Services Online (BSO). With BSO, you’ll be able to review the names and Social Security numbers written on the W-2 and determine how the error occurred and what your next steps should be. Just don’t take too long! Employers are required to send in their corrections on Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, within 60 days.

Again, these letters are not sent to indicate that you or your employees knowingly gave the government incorrect information. In fact, the SSA provides the following reasons why names and Social Security numbers could be mismatched, including:

  • Unreported name changes
  • Inaccurate/incomplete employer records
  • Typographic errors

Resolving A Mismatch

Luckily for you, the SSA website has an overview on how to correct mismatches. However, employers should still check their business’s records to confirm the information regarding the affected employees matches with the information delivered by the SSA.

With that said, name discrepancies and typos that may have led to a mismatch can usually be resolved quickly by submitting the correct information to the SSA. But if the mismatch wasn’t a simple employer error, you should alert every affected employee of the mismatches. It’s also good practice to complete this in writing to protect yourself, if necessary, in the future. But, once you’ve let your employees know of their mismatched information, it becomes their responsibility to resolve the issue with the SSA.

Don’t get too comfortable …

Employers remain responsible for making sure the process is completed on time. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to follow up with each employee to confirm that they are taking the necessary steps to resolve the mismatch. As mentioned before, written documentation is strongly encouraged for this process.

Moving Forward

Receiving a mismatch notification letter can be alarming but it’s important to remain calm and avoid taking unnecessary action against your employees. You must give them enough time to address the mismatch and correct their information. But, if a mismatch cannot be resolved or misconduct is found to have taken place, you should contact your legal counsel to decide what the next steps should be regarding the employee in question.

Email Rea & Associates to determine if your W-4 filings are correctly updated or for additional support regarding a mismatch letter.

by Dee Gray, CPP (New Philadelphia office)

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