Is Your W-2 Correct?

Soon we will start receiving W-2 forms for 2015. Rather than just tossing it on the table until needed for completion of your taxes, make sure your W-2 is correct now.

It is important that your name and Social Security number (SSN) be correct on your W-2 form.

In the short term, a mismatch between your name on your W-2 and on your SSN could delay tax refunds.

Longer term, having different names on your W-2 and Social Security card can create delay in posting earnings to your work record. Unresolved, this could result in problems with your future Social Security benefits because all of your work might not be credited to your personal earnings record.

Is your name correct on your W-2 form? If your legal name is William but everyone at work calls you Bill, what name should you use for payroll and W-2 purposes?

Your payroll record, W-2 form and Social Security number (SSN) card should all use the same name. It is recommended that this be your legal name so using William is a better choice than Bill. While a nickname such as Bill for William will match to Social Security records, not all names easily match up.

Notify your employer payroll person if a different name from that on your SSN card is being used. Review your W-2 to be sure your SSN is correct as shown. Tell your employer immediately of any problems.

If your name is correct on employer records, but wrong on your Social Security card, correct your SSN record as soon as you can. There is no charge to do this. Whether for marriage, divorce or other reason, change your name with Social Security as well as with your employer.

Name changes and all other Social Security number actions are provided for free by Social Security. See http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ for instructions, needed evidence and a downloadable application. Protect your identity and be sure you are on the official SSA website.

While you cannot change the name on your SSN online most states yet, you can do so by mail without visiting a Social Security office. Before mailing, be sure to completely read instructions and provide the evidence needed. Photocopied documents cannot be used. Your original documents are returned.

Employers can verify the SSN of employees and transmit W-2 data with the free SSA Business Services Online. Register at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/business.html

See your work history as shown on Social Security records by creating your personal, pin and password protected, my Social Security account at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/. Your record will be on your Social Security Statement. Earnings for 2015 will not be posted to your record until the fall of 2016.



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