Discussion:Employer refuses to correct w-2 (SSN)

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Employer refuses to correct w-2 (SSN)


ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
I have a young adult who worked three part time jobs while attending college. Two w-2s are fine, but one of them (a restaurant), the employer's payroll service was off by one digit on the SSN.


I told her to contact the employer to have ADP fix the w-2 and file a w-2c and w-3c with the IRS. The employer told her "no, it's not our problem, you need to straighten this out with the IRS -- or if you want ADP to fix it for you they will charge you $150 and you can have them do it"


This is on a w-2 with around $3,000 of income and some fed/state withholding.


My first reaction was to call the employer myself and tell them no problem I will simply report them to the IRS for filing a fraudulent w-2...but before I go all Chuck Norris on them I figured I should ask you good folks -- what do you think I should do?

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
"Fraudulent" just might be a bit strong.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
Is employer's name, by chance, Ricardo Cabeza?

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
I think the employer is "Los Pollos Hermanos"

Please...I need to try to help this person out, so what should I advise her to do?

Nightsnorkeler (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
Nothing.

File the return using the correct SSN. I see this all the time, never seen a letter or a change in tax. Worst case if the IRS does send a letter you respond with the W-2 and an explanation.

I know we're all tired right now but don't overthink it.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
But she won't get credit for the SS.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
EFile probably won't accept it (I had a case where the SSN was wrong). Eventually SSA will contact the employer saying name doesn't match SSA records. Then employer will have to correct it.

Norman-tx (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
From

http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers/IRS-Procedures/W-2---Additional,-Incorrect,-Lost,-Non-receipt,-Omitted/W-2---Additional,-Incorrect,-Lost,-Non-receipt,-Omitted-2

W-2 - Additional, Incorrect, Lost, Non-receipt, Omitted Question: I received an incorrect W-2 form. I can't get my former employer to issue a corrected W-2. What should I do? Answer: If your attempts to have an incorrect Form W-2 (PDF) corrected by your employer are unsuccessful and it is after February 14, you can request that an IRS representative initiate a Form W-2 complaint. You may call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040, or visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) in person. ....

Nightsnorkeler (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
But she won't get credit for the SS.

Why not? When she reviews her SSA record as we all are reminded to do and sees that there is an error she can take the steps necessary to get credit.

Social Security Administration's Master Earnings File

To ensure that workers have an opportunity to correct any discrepancies in their earnings records, SSA has since 1979 sent letters to all employees whose names and SSNs can not be matched.

Yes, all of this is supposed to work flawlessly, but sometimes it doesn't, and there are remedies available.

EFile probably won't accept it

I personally have never had an efile rejected for this reason. FEIN not matching the employer's name of course. Taxpayer's SSN not matching the last name sure. But I have never seen the system compare the name on the W-2 with the SSN reported on that W-2. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I've had at least three of these instances this tax season and all were accepted.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
Norman-tx thank you for that link.


I have considered just filing it to see what happens. I also considered ignoring the w-2 since it's for some other TIN not my client's. Neither choice seemed 'right' to me though and I want to hold the employer to the standard that they should be held to. I will tell the employer they need to fix this within 10 days or I will need to report them to the IRS.


The employer told my client she should just go to the post office and pick up a blank w-2 and fill it our herself. These people are known in this town to be dirtbags and their business is constantly in the news for owing state sales tax and back land/school taxes.

Norman-tx (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
If you directly contact your client's employer, they may fire your client.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
she no longer works there.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
either choice seemed 'right' to me though and I want to hold the employer to the standard that they should be held to.

Why?

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
I have considered just filing it to see what happens. I also considered ignoring the w-2 since it's for some other TIN not my client's. Neither choice seemed 'right' to me though

Just so we're clear on what doesn't seem right to you: Client earned taxable wages and it doesn't seem right that you should report it on the client's tax return? I would bet a nickel, a/k/a a 5-cent piece, that the IRS would disagree with your moral values.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
"neither"

why? because if I file and it gets rejected at some point or my client gets a letter about it, then my advice to my client was wrong and it's my reputation at stake. If I ignore it I'm violating Circular 230 ethics, basically I know income exists but I'm leaving off the tax return.


The business has employees and needs to file accurate w-2s for its employees. This is not my problem nor is it my client's problem - it is the employer's issue to fix.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
"Client earned taxable wages and it doesn't seem right that you should report it on the client's tax return?"


Um. Chris, you are someone here who helps me out a lot and I appreciate that. I think you are reading what I wrote completely incorrectly, however. I never said what you just wrote.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
Maybe I mis-interpreted this comment:

I have considered just filing it to see what happens. I also considered ignoring the w-2 since it's for some other TIN not my client's. Neither choice seemed 'right' to me though

You make it sound very much like an either/or proposition - you will either file the return with the W2 included or you won't (because IRS can't trace it back to your client owing to an incorrect SSN).

That's how I read it.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
I can't claim to be the most brilliant linguist - but I said "neither choice seemed 'right' to me though". I was being honest about what I considered and quickly came to the conclusion that neither choice is right.


Sorry for the confusion; in the future I'll forgo what I was thinking and just try to stick with the simple question/answer part.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
If I ignore it I'm violating Circular 230 ethics, basically I know income exists but I'm leaving off the tax return.

You cannot ignore the income, that is the last thing you should do. But in my opinion, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. As preparers, we see incorrect Form W-2s and Form 1099s all the time.

I usually just file using a substitute Form w-2, fill it out, attach the erroneous W-2 with a short explanation on the form and move on. That way, you have proof that you attempted to correct the problem and you are still reporting all the income, since that is the taxpayer's ultimate responsibility. 100% compliance, easily done.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
wow, I've done approx 950 tax returns over the last 6 years and this was the first one with an incorrect SSN on the w-2. I must have been very lucky so far. I have to admit as well, I have no idea how to fill out a substitute w-2 and attach, etc. to an e-filed return. I'm going to see if the employer will correct it once reported to the IRS (they will have 10 days to do so) and if not, file the 4852 as indicated in the link Norman-tx provided.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
ChrisV - Everyone is telling you you're making a mountain out of a molehill. The guy that might have a problem is the guy whose SSN actually shows up on the W2, whoever that is.

Joan TB (talk|edits) said:

9 April 2014
ChrisV - my tax prep software (Lacerte) has Form 4852 in the program, and also has the capability to attach .pdf files to the e-filed return (copy of W-2 received). Does your tax software provide this? If so, probably quite easy.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

10 April 2014
Regarding the 'mountain/molehill' comments. I'm learning something new here every day but in all honesty I thought the SSN was a pretty important number for earnings and withheld taxes to be recorded by the IRS so when a tax return is filed the amounts cited on the return (wages and withholding) matched what the IRS has on file. I figured that this mis-match would at some point cause the IRS to issue a CP2000. No?

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

10 April 2014
Maybe, and if it does cause a problem, send it in with a letter indicating (1) your efforts to get a corrected W2 issued (2) your correspondence w/ the SSA to get taxpayer's SS Earnings record right. Since we do have withholding here, the 4852 isn't a bad idea.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

10 April 2014
I figured that this mis-match would at some point cause the IRS to issue a CP2000.

Once I use a substitute Form W-2, I have never had an IRS notice issued after the fact. I see an incorrect SSN usually at least once every tax season, often it's a transposition error, very common with high-tunover jobs like waitresses or the like. I notify the taxpayer of course, but the employer rarely fixes the issue, and usually it's because of money (they don't want to pay ADP to correct the statement).

I also have used substitute Form W-2s for employers that suddenly close up shop and "dissappear". In these cases the employee only has a final earnings statement and no Form W-2 was issued, because the owner left the country or is otherwise MIA.

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools