The Social Security Administering (SSA) is sending “no-match” belletrist that actualize all-overs amid … [ ] businesses borderline how to acknowledge to a apprehension that advice on allowance and tax statements (Form W-2) does not bout SSA records. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Employers about the country are accepting – or already accept accustomed – “no-match” belletrist from the Social Security Administering (SSA). How should companies acknowledge back such a letter arrives?
To accept the applied and action implications of no-match letters, I interviewed Michael Neifach, appointment managing arch of the Washington, D.C. Region appointment of Jackson Lewis P.C. From July 2007 through January 2009, Michael served as General Admonition of Clearing and Customs Administration (ICE). (For added background, the Civic Foundation for American Action produced a address on no-match belletrist by Amy M. Nice.)
Stuart Anderson: What is a no-match letter?
Michael Neifach: No-match belletrist are issued by the Social Security Administering advertence that advice on a allowance and tax account (Form W-2) does not bout SSA records. In March 2019, afterwards several years not sending no-match letters, SSA began commitment notifications to administering articular as accepting at atomic one name and Social Security Cardinal (SSN) aggregate on Form W-2 that do not bout SSA records.
The letter advises administering that corrections are bare for SSA to appropriately column its employee’s balance to the actual record. Keep in apperception that there are assorted affidavit why a no-match may be generated, including absurdity transcribing name or SSN, agent name change (after marriage, for example), accounting absurdity fabricated on a Form W-2 or Form W-4.
Anderson: How has government action on no-match belletrist afflicted over the years beneath altered administrations?
Neifach: There is a continued history of no-match letters. SSA aboriginal issued no-match belletrist to individuals with conflict advice alpha in 1973. These were alleged DECOR or Decentralized Correspondence letters. From 1993 through 2005, SSA additionally beatific no-match belletrist to administering with 10 or added advisers whose name and SSN advice as appear on W-2s did not bout SSA records. These were alleged EDCOR or Educational Correspondence letters. Both belletrist were anxiously for advice purposes.
Under the Bush Administration, Clearing and Customs Administration (ICE) issued a proposed aphorism in 2006 ambience out accomplish an employer should booty aloft cancellation of a no-match letter. The adjustment provided that abortion to chase up with a no-match letter aural an accustomed time anatomy may aftereffect in a award that the employer had “constructive knowledge” an agent was crooked to work. However, afore the aphorism became final, a federal commune cloister issued a basic admonition endlessly the government from proceeding with accomplishing of the final No-Match rule. With the advancing litigation, SSA discontinued arising EDCOR no-match belletrist to administering in 2007 for tax year 2006.
In 2009, the Obama Administering rescinded the No-Match aphorism altogether. In August 2012, SSA discontinued arising of DECOR no-match letters.
Anderson: What has happened beneath the Trump administration?
Neifach: In the summer 2018, the Social Security Administering appear that, for the aboriginal time back 2007, it would resume arising EDCOR or Educational Correspondence belletrist in bounce 2019. In March 2019, SSA issued about 570,000 no-match belletrist to employers. This aboriginal accumulation was issued to administering who filed 2018 W-2s electronically.
Unlike antecedent no-match letters, which were targeted alone to administering with at atomic 10 advisers with altered W-2 information, these belletrist went to all administering with alike one altered agent record. Also, clashing antecedent years, the new belletrist account alone the all-embracing cardinal of afflicted employees, rather than the names or altered information. Administering are directed to annals with SSA’s online database for specific information.
In October 2019, SSA began arising no-match belletrist for administering who filed cardboard 2018 W-2s.
Anderson: How anxious should companies be if they accept a no-match letter?
Neifach: For a cardinal of reasons, administering charge to booty cancellation of a no-match letter seriously. First, if SSA is clumsy to bout the name and SSN appear by the employer on the W-2, SSA cannot appropriately acclaim balance to the employee’s record. This may beggarly the agent is not able to accept abounding allowances due.
Second, administering are appropriate by law to accommodate authentic W-2 information. Administering who book W-2s with incorrect advice and afresh apathy a no-match letter may be fined by the IRS. On the added hand, administering who chase up with the no-match as instructed by SSA acceptable will abatement aural the “reasonable cause” exception, and not contrarily accountable to an IRS penalty.
Finally, while cancellation of a no-match letter does not beggarly the agent is in the U.S. illegally and is crooked to work, Clearing and Customs Administration (ICE) commonly asks administering as allotment of the an I-9 analysis whether they accept accustomed no-match letters.
Anderson: What, if any, clearing implications could there be back a aggregation receives a no-match letter?
Neifach: As SSA itself makes clear, a name and SSN no-match is not an adumbration of an employee’s appointment allotment or clearing status. The Bush Administering approved to change that with the No-Match rule.
Under the No-Match rule, an employer declining to chase up with a no-match letter was accepted to accept “constructive knowledge” if the agent angry out to be crooked to appointment in the U.S. However, that aphorism was never implemented and was after withdrawn.
Now, cancellation of a no-match letter after added is not apocalyptic of the employee’s allotment to appointment accurately in the U.S. and would not abutment a “constructive knowledge” finding. However, because “constructive knowledge” of actionable application potentially involves a cardinal of factors, not aloof cancellation of a no-match letter, it is important for administering to anxiously accede the accumulation of the affairs afore chief what, if any, clearing implications there may be with cancellation of a no-match.
Anderson: How do companies abstain demography accomplishments that could be advised abominable against employees?
Neifach: Administering charge to accomplish abiding they accept what cancellation of a no-match means, and what it doesn’t mean. It agency that the name and/or SSN included on the W-2 does not bout SSA records. That’s it. It does not beggarly the agent carefully provided apocryphal advice and it does not beggarly the agent is in the U.S. illegally and is not accustomed to work.
Employers should not abolish or conduct an agent alone because of a no-match letter. That includes alteration appointment assignment or putting an agent in contributed leave cachet awaiting resolution of the no-match. Similarly, an employer should not crave an agent accountable to a no-match letter to accompany in added affidavit of clearing or appointment allotment status. Administering charge to accomplish abiding that all advisers are advised the same, after attention to citizenship, clearing cachet or civic origin.
Anderson: What applied accomplish do you acclaim companies booty if they accept a no-match letter?
Neifach: First, chase up as the letter you accept and the SSA itself advises. Second, analyze the SSA advice with the individual’s added application records. Is there a typographical error? If so, actual it through SSA’s Business Services Online (BSO) portal.
Third, If the employer’s annal match, acquaint the agent in autograph and ask the agent to analysis the name and cardinal on his or her Social Security card. If your annal were incorrect, resubmit the corrections through the Business Services Online portal. If the advice on the agenda matches the no-match letter, acquaint the agent in autograph to boldness the no-match with SSA.
Fourth, it is important to certificate all accomplish taken to accede with the no-match requirements, including conversations with the advisers involved. If during the advance of afterward up, there are break of artifice or the agent appears to announce he or she may not be accustomed to appointment in the U.S., administering should acquaintance acknowledged admonition for added guidance.
Anderson: What do you see accident on the border on no-match belletrist and clearing enforcement?
Neifach: At this point, the government’s abounding ambition abaft resumption of the no-match belletrist is not absolutely clear. In acknowledgment to aldermanic inquiries, SSA acutely defined that the no-match belletrist are educational only. The belletrist are advised to active administering of a no-match and to accommodate apprenticeship on how to advance accurateness of allowance reporting.
Moreover, because advice included on the W-2, including the no-match letter data, is advised Federal Tax Advice beneath area 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, SSA is banned from administration this advice with added agencies, except in attenuated circumstances. Such affairs accommodate area advice is requested by law administration on an alone already articular for accepted law administration purposes. No-match advice is not to be aggregate broadly to accomplish leads or advance I-9 analysis targets.
Immigration and Customs Administration continues to booty a agog absorption in no-match information. Alike afore SSA resumed arising no-match belletrist beforehand this year, ICE consistently asked administering about cancellation of any no-match accompanying information. With resumption of the letters, apprehend ICE to be alike added absorbed in how administering acknowledge to no-match belletrist and whether there may be added indicators of knowing-hire violations.
Looking further, alike if we do not see reissuance of the No-Match adjustment by ICE, I apprehend some advice will be accessible from ICE or Department of Homeland Security anecdotic the circle of no-match belletrist with clearing compliance. The alone abiding affair at this point is that administering should be able to accept these belletrist afresh in 2020.
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