§ 422.120. Earnings reported without a social security number or with an incorrect employee name or social security number.

(a) Correcting an earnings report. If an employer reports an employee's wages to SSA without the employee's social security number or with a different employee name or social security number than shown in SSA's records for him or her, SSA will write to the employee at the address shown on the wage report and request the missing or corrected information. If the wage report does not show the employee's address or shows an incomplete address, SSA will write to the employer and request the missing or corrected employee information. SSA notifies IRS of all wage reports filed without employee social security numbers so that IRS can decide whether to assess penalties for erroneous filing, pursuant to section 6721 of the Internal Revenue Code. If an individual reports self-employment income to IRS without a social security number or with a different name or social security number than shown in SSA's records, SSA will write to the individual and request the missing or corrected information. If the employer, employee, or self-employed individual does not provide the missing or corrected report information in response to SSA's request, the wages or self-employment income cannot be identified and credited to the proper individual's earnings records. In such cases, the information is maintained in a “Suspense File” of uncredited earnings. Subsequently, if identifying information is provided to SSA for an individual whose report is recorded in the Suspense File, the wages or self-employment income then may be credited to his or her earnings record.

(b) Returning incorrect reports. SSA may return to the filer, unprocessed, an employer's annual wage report submittal if 90 percent or more of the wage reports in that submittal are unidentified or incorrectly identified. In such instances, SSA will advise the filer to return corrected wage reports within 45 days to avoid any possible IRS penalty assessment for failing to file correct reports timely with SSA. (See also § 422.114(c).) Upon request, SSA may grant the employer a 15-day extension of the 45-day period.

[60 FR 42434, Aug. 16, 1995]