Correcting Clerical Errors

By Hector A. Chichoni and Robert S. Groban Jun 1, 2009
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June Cover If a clerical error is found, the employer should:

  • Complete a W-2c online or in hard copy with the correct information. If you are correcting only an employee’s name or Social Security number (SSN), complete Form W-2c through box i, as appropriate. Be sure to report the employee’s previously reported incorrect SSN in box h and incorrect name in box i. Do not complete boxes 1 through 20.

  • If the employee is given a new Social Security card following an adjustment to his or her immigration status that shows a different name and SSN, file a Form W-2c for the most current year only.

  • Check the employee’s W-2. If the error is on the employee’s W-2, the employer should advise the employee to correct his or her SSN and name on the W-2.

  • Check part one of the employee’s Form I-9. If the error is with the name or SSN recorded by the employee in section one, the employer should request that the employee correct, initial and date the form. The employer also can informally request an employee to present his or her Social Security card if the number has been reported by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a no-match so that the employer will be able to correct its records or the employee’s W-4. For example, the SSN may have been copied incorrectly or the employee may have had a change in his or her name.

  • If the SSN and the name on the Social Security card match the records the employer provided to the SSA, advise the employee that the SSA has found a discrepancy in its data and direct the employee to recheck his or her Social Security card to ensure that the name and number are correct as listed in the employer’s records.

​​The authors are attorneys at Epstein Becker & Green PC. Chichoni (hchichoni@ebglaw.com) is South Region chairperson of the firm’s Immigration Law Group. Groban (rgroban@ebglaw.com) is the group’s national chairperson.

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