The Social Security Administration has mailed “no-match letters” to more than 570,000 employers since March. (Some feel it’s been most heavily in the construction & agricultural industries.) The notices do not necessarily require employers to take action, but direct them to take steps to reconcile mismatches, which would require contacting the workers.
These letters are not the same as a TIN mismatch for ACA reporting, rather these no-match letters are related to the name and SSN reported on W-2s. There are many possible reasons for discrepancies between names and Social Security numbers, including typographical errors, clerical mistakes and name changes, the lack of lawful immigration status is a common one.
It remains unclear whether the Social Security Administration will share information about discrepancies with the immigration-enforcement agency and the mere receipt of a no-match letter does not lead to penalties. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement routinely asks firms subjected to I-9 audits whether they have received no-match letters, which can be used to prove that they had “constructive knowledge” of employing undocumented immigrants and raise the potential for criminal charges and hefty fines.
What do employers need to do if they receive one?
See my previous blog “Did you receive a “Social Security No-Match Letter?” for more details.