The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has announced, effective January 2019, it will begin enforcing penalties against employers who file Form W-2s with inaccurate employee information.

These penalties are not excessive in the micro context ($270 per form), but they can add up quickly and are only capped at an annual maximum penalty of $3,282,500.

What should you do? Keep an eye on your incoming mail from the SSA. Effective as of August 2018, the SSA is mailing letters to employers concerning each employee who has already been found to have an inaccurate Form W-2. If you receive one of these letters, be sure to re-submit an accurate Form as soon as possible before the end of the 2018.

You should not assume, however, that if you do not receive a letter from SSA that you are in the clear. In order to ensure full compliance, we recommend all employer’s take steps to ensure that employee information is accurate prior to the end of 2018. The SSA provides a number of free tools and suggestions to assist employers in getting their W-2s updated. With these tools, checking and updating your W-2s should be a quick and easy process that could save you from potentially serious penalties in the future.

A sample of the letter the SSA will be sending to employers in 2018 can be found here.

The SSA’s recommended guidelines for checking Forms W-2 for accuracy can be found here.

For a PDF version of this update, click here.

View All Publications