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W-2 News
For Employers and Businesses Who Submit W-2 Forms
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Welcome to W-2 News, the electronic newsletter for employers who submit W-2s to Social Security.

Issue 2008-04
December 12, 2008

Year End Reminders


Your password expires every 90 days

Your password should be changed every 90 days. If you go beyond 90 days, all you need to do is type your expired password and create a new password.



Forgot your password -— just answer these questions

When you register to use Business Services Online, Social Security will ask you five familiar questions. (For current users, Social Security will also ask you five questions the next time you use Business Services Online.) We’ll store your answers to these questions. If you forget your password, just answer these questions and you’ll be able to self-select a new password and gain access to services immediately. You will no longer have to wait for Social Security to send you a new password by mail.


What’s that date on the Social Security card?

Beginning with cards issued October 2007 or later, Social Security cards include the issue date on the front of the card. Tax preparers tell us that some people are crossing out the issue date and replacing it with their birth date. In this situation, it is not necessary to ask for a new Social Security card. The card is still a valid card. If the name and Social Security number appear unchanged you can use it for tax and wage reporting.


Avoid getting a busy signal

If you need to call Social Security with a wage reporting question, December is a good time to phone us. In January and February, we receive more phone calls then we are able to answer as quickly as we would like. To avoid a busy signal, look for the answers to many of your questions at our website, . We have a Frequently Asked Questions link that is located in the left column.


Are you having a problem registering for Business Services Online?

Sometimes Social Security is unable to verify information about you or your employer. As part of the registration process Social Security will provide you with a screen explaining any additional information you will need to provide to complete registration. You will need to fax this information to Social Security at 570-706-7874.


Activation codes

When you request access to the Social Security Number Verification Service, Social Security will mail an activation code to your employer as part of the authentication process. It may take up to 2 weeks to receive the code. It normally takes longer between January and March—so don’t delay, consider registering today.


Have you requested a second activation code?

If you request a second activation code before you receive the first, it will automatically cancel the first activation code you requested. If you are not sure whether you have received the first or the second activation code, we recommend that you try the code no more than two times. If it fails twice do not try a third time since it is the first activation code which is no longer valid A third failure will cancel your second activation code request and you would then have to apply a third time. Please wait until you receive the second activation code letter and use that code.


Relocation of the Social Security Number on Form W-2

Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service moved the “Employee’s Social Security number” (SSN) box on the Form W-2 from box d to box a, and the“Control number” box, optionally used by some employers to identify individual Forms W-2, from box a to box d. We also relocated the form ID Number “22222” and “Void” boxes to the top left corner of the Form W-2. We made these changes to protect the employee’s SSN from public disclosure when employers furnish Forms W-2 to their employees using a window envelope to enhance processing efficiency.

Social Security has received numerous paper W-2s where the SSN and/or name is not in the proper position and it can delay processing. Please look closely at your paper W-2s, especially Copy A to ensure printing accuracy, prior to mailing them to Social Security’s Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center.


Do you really need to see the card?

If an employee doesn’t have a Social Security card, an employer often asks them to go to the Social Security office to obtain a replacement card. This is costly to you, your employee and Social Security. Save time, money and a trip to our office. Consider using the free Social Security Number Verification Service to verify your employee’s name and Social Security number online. You can do that right from your PC. For more information, visit .


Customer Service

Employer Reporting Assistance
For more information on reporting employee wages to Social Security visit our website

Employers may contact Social Security with wage reporting questions or problems.
Phone - 1-800-772-6270, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time

BSO Technical Assistance
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Time 1-888-772-2970

General Information (Social Security Information)
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (all time zones)
For TDD/TTY call 1-800-325-0778

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