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W-2 News
For Employers, and Businesses Who Submit W-2 Forms
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July 18, 2006

Issue: 2006-01


Welcome to W-2 News, the electronic newsletter for employers who submit W-2s to Social Security. Inside this issue:


Verify Social Security Numbers Online

The Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) allows you to match the name and Social Security number of employees you hire with Social Security’s records. Go to to use SSNVS.

You have two options for using SSNVS:

1. You can directly key up to 10 Names/Social Security numbers at a time onto Social Security’s website with immediate results, or
2. You can upload a file with up to 250,000 Names/Social Security numbers with next business day results.

It is important to remember that SSNVS cannot be used to prescreen employees before they are hired.

For more information go to .


Create an SSNVS File Using Spreadsheet Software Program

You can verify up to 250,000 names/Social Security numbers using a spreadsheet software program to create an SSNVS file, as long as you put it in the correct format. Social Security will not be able to process a file that is not in the correct format.

If you are using Excel,to ensure that your electronic file submission is processed successfully, the file must not be in the “.xls format.”

To create the file you will need one column that is at least 130 characters long. This column will hold all data for each record. The specifications for the record layout can be found at To get to the specifications quickly, select “Submission File Format” in the right hand column.

To save an Excel file for processing:

  1. Select Save As on the File Menu;
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select the drop down box Save As type;
  3. Select Formatted Text (space delimited) (*.prn); and
  4. Type the filename and click Save.

Once you have saved your file, check your file against the Submission File Format to ensure the record length is 130 characters and all fields are properly placed in their respective position. The Multiple Request Indicator field in positions 128-130 must be populated with “000” and may not be left blank.


Social Security Eliminates Diskettes and Tapes for W-2 Reporting

Social Security has eliminated magnetic tapes, cartridges and diskettes as acceptable media for submitting W-2 reports to SSA. Beginning with Tax Year 2006 (W-2s due to SSA in calendar year 2007), wage reports containing 250 or more Forms W-2’s must be filed electronically via Social Security’s Business Services Online (BSO). BSO is a suite of Internet services for companies conducting business with Social Security. It is wise to get ready for the 2007 filing season. Visit today and register for a PIN and password.


Elimination of the Paper Version of the Magnetic Media Reporting and Electronic Filing (MMREF) Publication

Social Security will discontinue mailing the paper version of the Magnetic Media Reporting and Electronic Filing (MMREF) document after 2006. In July, Social Security mailed a compact disk containing the MMREF to all employers who file electronically or on magnetic media.

If employers prefer, the web version of the MMREF publication is also available. Just go to Software developers are encouraged to visit the Social Security website to download the newest version of the MMREF. You also can subscribe to W-2 News, Social Security’s electronic newsletter for employers, and receive an email when the latest version of the MMREF is available on the web.


AccuWage Available August 7, 2006

AccuWage software for 2006 is designed to test current and prior year wage reports prepared in the MMREF formats. The software allows you to check Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) reports for correctness before you send them to Social Security. It is also a valuable tool for software developers to use as part of their process to validate their wage reporting (W-2) software. A free copy of AccuWage software will be available on August 7, 2006 and may be downloaded from .


Please don't hit the "reply" button. W-2 News is an "announce only" newsletter.

For more information on reporting employee wages to Social Security visit our website.

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



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