REMINDER: Social Security No-Match Letter


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.

Did you receive a “Social Security No-Match Letter?”


Starting at the end of March 2019, employers that filed their 2018 Forms W-2 electronically by the January 31, 2019 due date may receive an “Employer Correction Request Notices” (EDCOR), also called “Social Security No-Match Letters”.

What do employers need to do if they receive one?

  • Confirm that the name and SSN reported on Form W-2 agrees with information provided by the employee on the Form W-4. Alternatively, compare the information reported on Form W-2 to the photocopy of the employee’s Social Security card they obtained at the time of hire.
  • If the employee name and SSN reported on the Form W-2 matches the information provided to them by the employee, work with the employee to resolve the matter. The SSA provides a sample employee letter for this purpose.
  • If the employer discovers they incorrectly reported the employee’s name and SSN on Form W-2, follow these steps for making a correction:
Nature of name or SSN error Correction to Form W-2c Correction to Form W-3c
Employee name or SSN was incorrectly reported on original Form W-2. Complete boxes d-i for up to the statute of limitations. Tell employee to correct the Form W-2 attached to Form 1040. Complete boxes d-j for at least up to the statute of limitations.
Employee obtains new or reissued Social Security card (e.g., change in US resident status or name change). Complete boxes d-i only for most current year. Complete boxes d-j only for most current year.
Name and SSN were blank on original Form W-2. Call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at +1 800 772 6270 for instructions. Call SSA at +1 800 772 6270 for instructions.

 Why it matters?

Failure to take proper action does present a risk and may lead to penalties being imposed.