Electronic Wage Reporting (EWR) System (Suite of Services)

·        Name of Project

        Electronic Wage Reporting (EWR) System (Suite of Services)

·        Unique Project Identifier


·        Privacy Impact Assessment Contact

Associate Commissioner
Office of Systems Electronic Services

Office of Systems

Social Security Administration

6401 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, MD 21235

·        Background

Each year, employers must supply a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to their employees and submit a copy to us.  We process all W-2s, electronic and paper, on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Employers use Form W-3 (Transmittal of Income and Tax Statements) to transmit W-2 information to us.  Employers send paper copies of W-2s to our Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center. 

Employers use our Business Services Online website application to send us W-2s electronicallyEmployers must file Form W-2c to correct a W-2 on file with us.  We use W-2 information to calculate disability and retirement claims and to determine supplemental security income eligibility under the Social Security Act (the Act).  

The EWR system is a suite of service applications that allows authorized users to

self-register via the Integrated Registration Suite of Services.  The EWR suite enables authorized registered employers and third-party submitters (persons who submit wages to us on behalf of employers) to report wages to us using our W-2 Online, Wage File Upload, or Web Service pilot applications in the EWR suite of services.  The W-2 Online application allows small businesses, usually those with less than 50 employees, to enter the wage information directly into a facsimile of the official IRS Form W-2.  After entering each employee’s wage information into a Form W-2, the employers can print the forms to give to their employees, save their work if unfinished, and change or submit the W-2s. 

The Wage File Upload application takes in large files, using a published SSA format, that come from large employers or large third-party submitters (normally using payroll software) reporting wages for many different employers.

The EWR suite contains a Submission Status application where users can view the status of their submitted wage file.  In addition, the EWR suite contains an application called W-2c Online that allows users to submit corrections to previously reported wages, whether they were originally submitted by paper or electronically.

A small number of consolidator companies are currently using our EWR web service pilot to submit the wage reports without having to go through the browser-based EWR applications.  We plan to open this application to all employers on a gradual basis in order to streamline the submissions of electronic wage reports.

·        Describe the specific legal authority and/or agreement for the collection of information.

      Sections 232 [42 U.S.C. § 462] [Processing of Tax Data] and 1106 (a)(1)

      [42 U.S.C. § 1306 (a)(1)] [Disclosure of Information in Possession of Agency] of the Act, as amended; and section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) authorize us to collect, maintain, use, and disclose this information. 

      We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the IRS that covers the collection, use, and disclosure of Federal tax information.  The MOU authorizes the Commissioner to use any tax statements or other documents made available to the Commissioner by the Secretary of the Treasury for the purposes of processing entitlement to Social Security benefits pursuant to section 232 of the Act.

·       Describe the information we plan to collect, why we will collect the information, how we intend to use the information, and with whom we will share the information.

      The EWR system collects wage report submissions via multiple applications, including W-2 Online, W-2c Online, Wage File Upload, and the EWR web service pilot.  The information collected in the EWR system is W-2 and W-3 information reported by the employer, such as:

·        Employee Social Security number

·        Employer identification number

·        Employer and employee name, address, and zip code

·        Employee wages, tips, other compensation

·        Employee Federal income tax withheld

·        Social Security wages

·        Social Security tax withheld

·        Medicare wages and tips

·        Medicare tax withheld

·        Employer’s state identification number

·        State wages and tips

·        State income tax          

We transmit wage report submissions to the Annual Wage Reporting (AWR) system for processing individual tax forms.  The EWR suite of services enables us to efficiently collect and process the electronic wage reports that employers and third-party submitters send to us via the Internet.

Registered users of the EWR system suite of services are able to:

·        Create/Edit/Resume/Submit Forms W-2/W-3 Online

·        Create/Edit/Resume/Submit Forms W-2c/W-3c Online

·        Submit/Resubmit a Formatted Wage File

·        Submit a Special Wage Payments File

·        View Submission Status

·        View Wage Report Status

·        Acknowledge Resubmission Notice and/or Request Resubmission Extension

·        Submit a Formatted Wage File via the EWR Web Service (pilot)

We only share this information with our authorized employees who need the information to perform their official duties and the employers and third-party submitters who report wages to us.  The employers and third-party submitters can only see the wage information that they have submitted.

We will not disclose any information defined as “return or return information” under 26 U.S.C. § 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) unless authorized by statute, the IRC, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations. 

·        Describe the administrative and technological controls we have in place or that we use to secure the information collected.

  We have developed a System Security Plan that includes, but is not limited to, the security controls required by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53, Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. 

We use audit mechanisms to record sensitive transactions as an additional measure to protect information from unauthorized disclosure or modification.  We secure the electronic information by requiring the use of a randomly generated unique User Identification (User ID or PIN) and self-selected password. 

We store the computerized records in secure areas accessible only to those employees and contractors who require the information to perform their official duties.  We provide appropriate security awareness training to all our employees and contractors annually that includes reminders about the need to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and the criminal penalties that apply to unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, PII. 

See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(1).  Furthermore, employees and contractors with access to databases maintaining PII must annually sign a sanction document, acknowledging their accountability for inappropriately accessing or disclosing such information.  

      We control access to the databases containing the wage data submitted via the EWR applications through the assignment of a unique Wage File Identifier (WFID) and the use of secure stored procedures.  We assign a WFID and control number to uniquely identify and control every submission when it is first received by EWR and passed on to AWR. 

      All Internet traffic directed to us, including information transmitted to and from EWR’s individual applications, is protected by a multi-layer architecture of firewall and Internet protection and isolation technologies.  The EWR system uses standard security architecture prescribed for Internet applications.       

All employers and third-party submitters utilizing the EWR system must obtain a randomly generated unique User ID and self-selected password. 

·        Describe the impact on individuals’ privacy rights.  Do we afford people an opportunity to decline to provide information?

      No.  The information we collect, maintain, use, and disclose through the EWR system comes directly from employers and not from individuals.  Wage reporting is tied directly to the IRS reporting of wages for tax-related purposes.  Employers do not have an opportunity to decline to report wages; they are required to do so by law.

·        Do we afford people an opportunity to consent to only particular uses of the information?

No.  We use tax return information for processing entitlement to Social Security benefits pursuant to sections 232 and 1106 (a)(1) of the Act and section 6103 of the IRC only.

·        Does the collection of this information require a new system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a) or an alteration to an existing system of records?

      No.  The EWR system does not require a new Privacy Act system of records (SOR) or an alteration to an existing SOR.  The information we collect, maintain, use, and disclose via the EWR system is covered under an existing Privacy Act SOR entitled, Earnings

      Recording and Self-Employment Income System (60-0059).  We published the SOR and its applicable routine uses in the Federal Register (FR) on January 11, 2006 (71 FR 1819). 


__/s/___Dawn S. Wiggins_________                  ___01/12/2012________

SIGNATURE                                                       DATE


__/s/___David F. Black___________________          __01/20/2012_________

SIGNATURE                                                       DATE