To help resolve error conditions that prevented Social Security from processing your wage report, view the file on your backup copy. If you received notification of errors in your submission, please view your error information at our Business Services Online (BSO) website. There are two basic categories of errors:

Wage reporting errors can be caused by a variety of conditions. Determine the type of error, the possible cause, follow the instructions on the BSO website to correct the error(s) and resubmit. Social Security offers a free downloadable program called AccuWage. Pre-testing your corrected file with AccuWage before resubmitting will greatly reduce the possibility that Social Security will have to reject your resubmittal. You may download AccuWage at the following link:   http://www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/accuwage/index.html

Note: Social Security strongly encourages you to use the Internet to transfer wage report files.

Submission Structure Errors

Wage Report Field Value Errors

Additional Sources of Information and Assistance

  • Wage & Tax Rates Schedules
  • Download and use AccuWage to identify most wage report errors and reduce the likelihood of submission rejection.
  • Use SSNVS to determine which names and SSNs do not agree with our records before submitting them on a wage report.
  • For information on reporting names and SSNs, refer to Critical Links.
  • Forms and Publications EFW2 or EFW2C.
  • Contact your local Employer Service Liaison Officer.
  • Contact Social Security's Employer Filing Assistance at 1-800-772-6270 (For TDD/TTY call 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.)
  • To locate an electronic filing service or W-2 filing software package, refer to the Vendor List.
  • Glossary of Terms

Blank Web Submission

The submission could not be processed because the file we received was empty or did not contain any valid wage data.

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Corrupt Submission

The submission could not be processed because it was unreadable.

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Data After RF/RCF Record

The wage file we received contained data after the RF/RCF Record.

To correct this error condition:

  • The RF/RCF Record is the last record in the report.
  • There is no other data after the RF/RCF Record.

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Empty Submission

The file we received did not contain a wage report or it contained a wage report that did not include any data.

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Invalid Media

We cannot accept submissions on physical media. Social Security currently accepts wage reports via the following types of services:

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Invalid Record Identifiers

The wage report contains invalid Record Identifiers. Record Identifiers are entered in the first two positions of each record on EFW2 formatted reports and the first three positions of each record on EFW2C formatted reports. Valid Record Identifiers are shown in the lists below.

EFW2 Record Identifiers

  • RA - Submitter Record
  • RE - Employer Record
  • RW - Employee Wage Record
  • RO - Optional Employee Wage Record
  • RS - Optional State Record
  • RT - Total Record
  • RU - Optional Total Record
  • RV - Optional State Total Record
  • RF - Final Record

EFW2C Record Identifiers

  • RCA - Corrected Submitter Record
  • RCE - Corrected Employer Record
  • RCW - Corrected Employee Wage Record
  • RCO - Corrected Optional Employee Wage Record
  • RCS - Corrected Optional State Record
  • RCT - Corrected Total Record
  • RCU - Corrected Optional Total Record
  • RCV - Corrected Optional State Total Record
  • RCF - Corrected Final Record
To correct this error condition:
  • Check to ensure that all records contain valid Record Identifiers.

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Invalid Record Length

Some or all of the records on the wage report are not the correct length.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The EFW2 formatted wage report contains at least one record that is less than 512 positions.
  • The EFW2C formatted wage report contains at least one record that is less than 1024 positions.

To correct this error condition:

  • For EFW2 formatted wage reports, ensure that each record is 512 positions.
  • For EFW2C formatted wage reports, ensure that each record is 1024 positions.

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Invalid Record Sequence

The records in the wage report were not in the proper sequence. The basic record sequence of EFW2 and EFW2C formatted reports is shown below.

Basic EFW2 Record Sequence

  • RA - Submitter Record
  • RE - Employer Record
  • RW - Employee Wage Record
  • RO - Optional Employee Wage Record
  • RS - Optional State Record
  • RT - Total Record
  • RU - Optional Total Record
  • RV - Optional State Total Record
  • RF - Final Record

Repeat RE through RV record for each wage report (W-3 and its associated W-2’s). Repeat RW through RS record for each W-2.

Basic EFW2C Record Sequence

  • RCA - Corrected Submitter Record
  • RCE - Corrected Employer Record
  • RCW - Corrected Employee Wage Record
  • RCO - Corrected Optional Employee Wage Record
  • RCS - Corrected Optional State Record
  • RCT - Corrected Total Record
  • RCU - Corrected Optional Total Record
  • RCV - Corrected Optional State Total Record
  • RCF - Corrected Final Record

Repeat RCE through RCV record for each wage report (W-3c and its associated W-2c’s). Repeat RCW through RCS record for each W-2c.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • Records are sorted improperly.
  • There was extraneous data found after the RF or RCF Record.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • The RA Record begins in position one of the first block of records.
    • The RF Record is the last record on the file.
  • Check EFW2C formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • The RCA Record begins in position one of the first block of records.
    • The RCF Record is the last record on the file.
  • Check all wage reports to ensure that there is no extraneous data before the RA/RCA Record or after the RF/RCF Record.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Missing Record Identifiers

The wage report could not be processed because an EOF, RF Record or RCF Record was encountered before any RW Records or RCW Records were processed.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The data is not in EFW2 format.
  • The records are not in the proper sequence.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted reports to ensure that:
    • The RF Record is the last record.
    • There is at least one RW Record.
  • Check EFW2C formatted reports to ensure that:
    • The RCF Record is the last record.
    • There is at least one RCW Record.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Missing RT or RCT (Total) Records

The wage report did not contain a RT or RCT Record. EFW2 formatted reports must contain a RT Record and EFW2C formatted reports must contain a RCT Record.

During processing of EFW2 formatted wage reports, we balance the wage reports by comparing our calculated totals of all the RW Records in the report against the totals reported in the RT Record.

During processing of EFW2C formatted reports, we balance the wage reports by comparing our calculated totals of all the RCW Records in the report against the totals reported in the RCT Record.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The RT Record is missing from the EFW2 formatted report.
  • The RCT Record is missing from the EFW2C formatted report.
  • The Records in the wage report are not in the proper sequence.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted reports to ensure that:
    • The RF Record is the last record.
    • There is at least one RT record.
    • All other records are in the proper sequence.
  • Check EFW2C formatted reports to ensure that:
    • The RCF Record is the last record.
    • There is at least one RCT record.
    • All other records are in the proper sequence.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Missing RW or RCW (Employee) Records

The wage report did not contain any RW Records or RCW Records and at least one money field on the RT Record or RCT Record was greater than zero or not blank.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The RW or RCW Records are not in the proper sequence.
  • The RW or RCW records have incorrect Record Identifiers.
  • The RW or RCW Records are missing.
  • The RT or RCT Record should not be present.

To correct this error condition:

    Check your wage report to ensure that:
  • EFW2 formatted wage reports contain at least one RW Record.
  • EFW2C formatted wage reports contain at least one RCW Record.
  • All RW or RCW Records have valid Record Identifiers.
  • All records are in the proper sequence.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Multiple Files on Submission

We are unable to automatically process your electronic wage report file because the compressed file we received contained multiple wage reports. Each zipped file should only contain one wage report. Please resubmit each wage report in the EFW2 format. If you wish to compress your individual wage report files, use any compression tool which uses standard zip file format.

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Multiple Submitter Records

The submission contained more than one Submitter (RA or RCA) Record and could not be processed.

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Virus on Submission

Our anti-virus software detected a possible computer virus on the wage report. Please resubmit the wage report after the file has been checked and cleaned by an anti-virus software application.

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Zero Byte Submission

The submission could not be processed because the file we received was empty or did not contain any valid wage data.

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Possible causes of this error condition:

  • You submitted the wrong file.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • The RA Record begins in position one of the first block of records.
    • The RF Record is the last record on the file.
  • Check EFW2C formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • The RCA Record begins in position one of the first block of records.
    • The RCF Record is the last record on the file.
  • Check all wage reports to ensure that there is no extraneous data before the RA/RCA record or after the RF/RCF record.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting

Corrections Pursuant to the IRS Resolution for Medical Teaching Hospitals

We were unable to process your EFW2C wage report. If you are submitting a correction wage report pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) resolution for Medical Teaching Hospitals, please contact your Employer Service Liaison Officer for further reporting instructions.

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Empty Wage Report

We were unable to process your EFW2 wage report because the report did not have at least one money field value in the RW/RO or RT/RU Records.

We were unable to process yourEFW2C wage report because the report did not have at least one money field value in the RCW/RCO or RCT/RCU Records or was not correcting either the Social Security Number, name and/or one or more indicators (Retirement Plan, Statutory Employee, Third-Party Sick Pay indicators).

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • At least one money field has a value greater than zero.
  • Check EFW2C formatted wage reports to ensure that:
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Incorrect Household Reporting

The EFW2 wage report could not be processed because the reported TY is not greater than 1993 or the Employment Type in the RE Record is Household (H) but the sum of Social Security Wages and Social Security Tips was not equal to or greater than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage or Medicare Wages and Tips was not equal to or greater than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage.

The EFW2C wage report could not be processed because the reported Correct TY is not greater than 1993 or the reported Correct Employment Type in the RCE Record is Household (H) but the sum of Correct Social Security Wages and Correct Social Security Tips was not equal to or greater than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage or Correct Medicare Wages and Tips was not equal to or greater than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check EFW2 formatted wage reports to ensure that:
    • The reported TY is greater than 1993;
    • The sum of Social Security Wages and Social Security Tips is not less than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage; and
    • Medicare Wages and Tips are not less than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage.
  • Check EFW2C formatted reports to ensure that:
    • The reported Correct TY is greater than 1993;
    • The sum of Correct Social Security Wages and Correct Social Security Tips is not less than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage; and
    • Correct Medicare Wages and Tips are not less than the yearly minimum amount for Household coverage.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Invalid EIN

The EFW2 formatted wage report contained an invalid value in the Employer/Agent EIN field of the RE Record, or the EFW2C formatted report contained an invalid value in the original and/or corrected Employer/Agent EIN field of the RCE Record.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • IRS has not issued an EIN.
  • The first two positions of the EIN contain one of the following invalid number combinations: 00, 07, 08, 09, 17, 18, 19, 28, 29, 49, 69, 70, 78, 79, or 89. (Note: The Internal Revenue Service does issue EIN’s beginning with some of these prefixes, but they are only issued to entities which are not expected to submit wage reports to SSA. If the nature of your business has changed and you are now have wages to submit, please contact your Employer Service Liaison Officer for assistance.)
  • The EIN is not nine numeric characters and contains letters, spaces, hyphens, prefixes, suffixes or some other non-numeric character.
  • Fields in a report shifted out of position.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the value of the Employer/Agent EIN field(s) on the RE or RCE Record to ensure that it:
    • Contains the EIN that was issued to your organization by the IRS.
    • Does not contain one of the invalid number combinations shown in the list above.
    • Contains nine numeric characters.
  • Check the structure of the wage report to ensure the fields are not shifted out of position.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Invalid Employment Type

The EFW2 formatted report had an invalid Employment Type in the RE Record, or the EFW2C formatted report had in invalid Employment Type in the RCE Record.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the Employment Type to ensure it contains one of the following values:
    • A for agricultural employees
    • H for household employees
    • M for military employees
    • Q for MQGE employees
    • X for railroad employees
    • F for all other employees if the employer files tax form 944
    • R for all other employees if the employer files tax forms 941
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Invalid Names and SSNs

At least one or more of the RW Records or RCW Records in the wage report show names and/or SSNs that do not agree with our records. A high percentage of failure may indicate a strong probability that the incorrect names and/or SSNs were due to a data processing error.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the structure of the wage report to ensure that:
    • Names and SSNs are in the proper positions in the RW Records for EFW2 formatted reports.
    • Names and SSNs are in the proper positions in the RCW Records for EFW2C formatted reports.
  • Check all names and SSNs to ensure that:
    • The First Name and/or the Last Name fields are not blank.
    • The name agrees with the individual's name exactly as it is shown on the individual's Social Security Card.
    • The First Name, Middle Name and Last Name are provided in separate fields.
    • The Last Name field contains the name of individuals who have only a single name.
    • The individual's title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc) is not included in one of the name fields.
    • The SSN agrees with the individual's SSN exactly as it is shown on the individual's Social Security Card.
    • The SSN is nine numeric characters and does not contain letters, blanks, spaces, hyphens, prefixes or suffixes.
    • The SSN is not in reverse order.
    • The SSN does not begin with the numbers 666 or 9.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

Note: For more information on invalid names and SSNs, refer to Critical Links.

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Invalid Tax Jurisdiction Code

The EFW2 formatted wage report contained an invalid value in the RE Record Tax Jurisdiction Code field or reported monies are not valid for the Tax Jurisdiction Code or the reported RE Record Employment Type (EET) is Railroad (X) but the Tax Jurisdiction Code is not “blank”.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the following conditions to ensure that:
    • The reported Tax Jurisdiction code in position 220 of the RE Record is a valid value;
    • The reported money field values are valid for the Tax Jurisdiction Code; or
    • If the RE Record reported Employment Type (EET) is Railroad (X), then the RE Record reported Tax Jurisdiction Code must be “blank”.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Invalid Tax Year

The TY in the RE Record or RCE Record is invalid.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the TY to ensure that it:
    • Contains four numeric characters. Non-numeric characters such as letters, blanks, spaces, hyphens, prefixes or suffixes are invalid.
    • Contains a calendar year that is after 1977.
    • Does not contain the current calendar year.
    • Does not contain a future calendar year.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Medicare and Social Security W-2s Mixed (TY83-90)

The wage report contains a single RE Record followed by at least one RW Record with MQGE wages and at least one RW Record with non-MQGE wages.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the wage fields on the RW Records to ensure they are correct.
  • If the wage fields are correct, then change the structure of the wage report to ensure that:
    • RW Records with MQGE Wages and RW Records with Non-MQGE Wages are not reported after a single RE Record.
    • All RW Records with MQGE Wages follow a separate RE Record where the Employment Type field contains Q for MQGE.
    • All RW Records with Non-MQGE Wages follow a separate RE Record that contains a valid Employment Type other than Q.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

Note: There are special situations that require combined or split reporting of MQGE and Non-MQGE wages. Please refer to the Special Situations/Government Employer or Special Situations/Military Employer section of the EFW2 publication for additional information.

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Medicare Wages and Tips Do Not Equal Social Security Wages/Tips (TY83-90)

The TY of the wage report is 1983-1990, and the value of the Medicare Wages and Tips field on one or more RW Records or RCW Records is not equal to the sum of Social Security Wages field plus the Social Security Tips field.

When EFW2 formatted reports are submitted for TYs 1983-1990 and the Social Security Wages field or the Social Security Tips field are greater than zero, then the Medicare Wages and Tips field must equal the sum of the values of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the TY of wage report to ensure it is correct.
  • If the TY is 1983-1990 and is correct, then check the values of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field to ensure the sum of these two fields matches the value in the Medicare Wages and Tips field.
  • Check the format of the Medicare Wages and Tips, the Social Security Wages and the Social Security Tips fields to ensure that they:
    • Contain all numeric characters.
    • Do not contain any punctuation such as commas or dollar signs.
    • Do not contain signed amounts (e.g., positive or negative signs in front of numeric value).
    • Include dollars and cents with the decimal point assumed (e.g., enter $10.00 as 00000001000).
    • Do not include values that are rounded (e.g., enter $10.99 as 00000001099 not 00000001100).
    • Are right justified and filled with zeros to the left (e.g., enter $10.99 as 00000001099 not 10990000000).
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

When EFW2C formatted reports are submitted for Corrected TYs 1983-1990 and the Correct Social Security Wages field or the Correct Social Security Tips field are greater than zero, then the Correct Medicare Wages and Tips field must equal the sum of the values of the Correct Social Security Wages field and the Correct Social Security Tips field.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the TY of wage report to ensure it is correct.
  • If the Correct TY is 1983-1990 and is correct, then check the values of the Correct Social Security Wages field and the Correct Social Security Tips field to ensure the sum of these two fields matches the value in the Correct Medicare Wages and Tips field.
  • Check the format of the Correct Medicare Wages and Tips, the Correct Social Security Wages and the Correct Social Security Tips fields to ensure that they:
    • Contain all numeric characters.
    • Do not contain any punctuation such as commas or dollar signs.
    • Do not contain signed amounts (e.g., positive or negative signs in front of numeric value).
    • Include dollars and cents with the decimal point assumed (e.g., enter $10.00 as 00000001000).
    • Do not include values that are rounded (e.g., enter $10.99 as 00000001099 not 00000001100).
    • Are right justified and filled with zeros to the left (e.g., enter $10.99 as 00000001099 not 10990000000).
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Medicare Wages and Tips or Medicare Tax Withheld Invalid for TY

The wage report could not be processed because the TY was before 1983 and the value of the Medicare Wages and Tips field and/or the Medicare Tax Withheld field in the RW Record was greater than zero.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the TY of the wage report.
  • If the TY is correct, then check the values of the Medicare Wages and Tips field; it must contain all zeros on wage reports submitted for TY 1982 or earlier.
  • If the TY is correct, then check the values of the Medicare Tax Withheld field; it must contain all zeros on wage reports submitted for TY 1982 or earlier.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Medicare Wages and Tips Less Than Social Security Wages and/or Social Security Tips

The wage report contains errors in the Social Security Wages, Social Security Tips and/or Medicare Wages and Tips fields on the RW Record(s).

To correct this error condition, check each RW Record to ensure that:

  • For TY 1983-1990, the Medicare Wages and Tips field equals the sum of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field when the RW Record has Social Security Wages and/or Social Security Tips greater than zero.
  • For TY 1991 and later, the Medicare Wages and Tips field is equal to, or greater than the sum of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field.
  • The Social Security Tax Withheld field equals zero when the sum of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field equals zero.
  • The Social Security Tax Withheld field is greater than zero when the sum of the Social Security Wages field and the Social Security Tips field is greater than zero.
  • The Medicare Tax Withheld field equals zero when the Medicare Wages and Tips field equals zero.
  • The Medicare Tax Withheld field is greater than zero when the Medicare Wages and Tips field is greater than zero.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Military Employment Type and Non-Military EIN

This EIN is not registered with Social Security to report as type of employment code M (Military). Employment Type Military should be used only to report full-time active duty earnings for members of the United States Armed Services. If you are reporting full-time active duty earnings for members of the United States Armed Services, please contact your Employer Service Liaison Officer for assistance.

To correct this error condition:

  • Contact your local Employer Service Liaison Officer for assistance when registering the EIN for military filing and to receive filing instructions.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Military Wages May Be Reported Incorrectly

There is an error condition on the wage report that indicates wages are reported incorrectly.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The EIN and Establishment Number on the RE Record indicate that wages are being reported for inactive duty military service or civilian employees, but the Employment Type on the RE Record is not R for Regular or Q for MQGE.
  • The EIN and Establishment Number on the RE Record indicate that wages are being reported for full time active duty military service, but the Employment Type on the RE Record is not M for Military.

To correct this error condition:

  • Change the Employment Type on the RE Record to R for Regular if you are filing inactive duty military service wages, or wages paid to civilian employees in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirement system or if you are filing wages that are not subject to Social Security and Medicare Tax.
  • Change the Employment Type on the RE Record to Q for MQGE if you are filing wages paid to civilian employees in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

Note: There are special situations that require combined or split filing of MQGE and Non-MQGE wages. Please refer to the Special Situations/Government Employer or Special Situations/Military Employer section of the EFW2 publication for additional information.

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Monies Invalid for the TY

At least one money field in the RT Record in the EFW2 format is not valid for the TY or at least one money field in the RCT Record in the EFW2C format is not valid for the TY.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The TY was reported incorrectly for the reported money fields in the RT or RCT Records.

To correct this error condition:

  • If the wage report is being submitted for the current TY, please ensure that the correct TY was reported.
  • If the wage report is being submitted for a prior TY, please ensure that the money field(s) being reported are valid for that TY.
  • For the EFW2 format, monies that are not valid for the TY must be reported as all blanks or all zeros; for the EFW2C format, monies that are not valid for the TY must be all blanks.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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MQGE Employment Type Invalid for TY

The Employment Type in the RE Record contains a Q for MQGE and is not valid for the TY reported. Note: Only governmental employers should report Employment Type Q.

To correct this error condition:

  • Check the TY in the RE Record and change it if incorrect.
  • If the TY is correct, change the Employment Type in the RE Record to a valid Employment Type other than Q.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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MQGE Employment Type and Non-MQGE Wages

The Employment Type in the RE Record contains a Q for MQGE, all wages reported in RW Records appear to be Non-MQGE and the value of the Social Security Tax Withheld field on at least one RW Record is too low based on the Social Security Tax Rate for the TY being reported. Note: Only governmental employers should report Employment Type Q.

To correct this error condition:

  • If MQGE wages are being reported, then ensure the Medicare Wages and Tips field and the Medicare Tax Withheld field are accurate and greater than zero.
  • If Non-MQGE wages are being reported, then change the Employment Type to a valid Employment Type that is other than Q.
  • Check the value of the Social Security Tax Withheld field on all RW Records to ensure the amount withheld is accurate for the TY reported.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Originally Reported Money Field Not Consistent With Corrected Money Field Reporting in EFW2C Format

The EFW2C wage report contains errors in the Originally Reported money fields or Correct money fields on the RCW Records or the RCO Record.

To correct this error condition, check each RCW or RCO Record to ensure that::

  • If either the Originally Reported or Correct iteration of a money field is numeric, both fields must be entered as numerics.
  • If either the Originally Reported or Correct iteration of a money field is blank, both fields must be entered as blanks.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Out of Balance Money Field(s)

At least one money field is out of balance.

We balance EFW2 money fields by calculating totals of the RW Record and the RO Record money fields and comparing them to totals reported by submitters in the RT Record and the RU Record money fields.

We balance EFW2C money fields by calculating totals of the RCW Record and the RCO Record money fields and comparing them to totals reported by submitters in the RCT Record and the RCU Record money fields.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • For EFW2 formatted reports:
    • Negative amounts in the RW or RO money fields; we process signed money fields as unsigned, which will change the totals you intended to report.
    • Failure to initialize the RT or RU money fields.
    • Failure to correctly calculate RT or RU money fields.
  • For EFW2C formatted reports:
    • Negative amounts in the RCW or RCO money fields; we process signed money fields as unsigned, which will change the totals you intended to report.
    • Failure to initialize the RCT or RCU money fields.
    • Failure to correctly calculate RCT or RCU money fields.
    • Invalid Record Identifiers, which are dropped during processing.
    • Fields in a record being shifted out of position.

To correct this error condition, check the wage report to ensure that:

  • It does not contain invalid Record Identifiers.
  • The fields in the record are not shifted out of position.
  • There are no negative amounts in any money fields.
  • Money field amounts on the Total Record are equal to the sum of all money field amounts on all Employee Wage Records following the last Employer Record.
    • For EFW2 formatted reports:
      • Amounts on the RT Record should equal the sum of all RW Records since the last RE Record.
      • Amounts on the RU Record should equal the sum of all RO Records since the last RE Record.
    • For EFW2C formatted reports:
      • Amounts on the RCT Record should equal the sum of all RCW Records since the last RCE Record.
      • Amounts on the RCU Record should equal the sum of all RCO Records since the last RCE Record.

    For example: There are 20 RW Records since the last RE Record. The sum of amounts in the Wages, Tips and Other Compensation field for the 20 RW Records is $10,000. The value of the Wages, Tips and Other Compensation field on the RT Record should be 000000001000000.
  • The Total Records are initialized (set to zero). The Total Records should not include money amounts carried forward from previous Total Records; they should contain the sum of money field values of the Employee Wage Records since the last Employer Record.
    • For EFW2 Formatted Reports:
      • Amounts on the RT Record should not include amounts from previous RT or RU records in the report; it should only contain the sum of RW Records since the last RE Record.
      • Amounts on the RU Record should not include amounts from previous RU or RT records in the report; it should only contain the sum of RO Records since the last RE Record.
    • For EFW2C Formatted Reports:
      • Amounts on the RCT Record should not include amounts from previous RCT or RCU records in the report; it should only contain the sum of RCW Records since the last RCE Record.
      • Amounts on the RCU Record should not include amounts from previous RCU or RCT records in the report; it should only contain the sum of RCO Records since the last RCE Record.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Railroad Employment Type and Non-Railroad Wages

The RE or RCE record Employment Type is not X for Railroad and the RW Records contain nonzero Social Security and/or Medicare Wages and/or Taxes. Note: Only earnings subject to the Railroad Retirement Act retirement system are to be reported as Employment Type X.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The Employment Type on the RE Record is not X for Railroad and
  • The wage report contains RW Records where the value of the:
    • Social Security Wages field is greater than zero and/or;
    • Social Security Tips field is greater than zero and/or;
    • Medicare Wages and Tips field is greater than zero and/or;
    • Medicare Tax Withheld field is greater than zero.

To correct this error condition:

  • If you are filing non-Railroad wages, change the EIN on the RE Record to your non-Railroad EIN.
  • If you are filing Railroad earnings:
    • Change the Employment Type on the RE Record X for Railroad;
    • Reduce value of the Social Security Wages field to zero on all RW records;
    • Reduce value of the Social Security Tips field to zero on all RW records;
    • Reduce value of the Medicare Wages and Tips field to zero on all RW Records and
    • Reduce value of the Medicare Tax Withheld field to zero on all RW Records.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Railroad EIN With Non-Railroad Employment Type

The EIN and the RE Record is registered with SSA to report Railroad earnings only, and the RE Record Employment Type is not X for Railroad. Note: Only earnings subject to the Railroad Retirement Act retirement system are to be reported as Employment Type X.

To correct this error condition:

  • If you are filing non-Railroad wages, change the EIN on the RE or RCE Record to your non-Railroad EIN.
  • If you are filing Railroad earnings, change the Employment Type in the RE Record to a valid Employment Type of “X”.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Social Security Wages/Tips Amounts Invalid for TY

The TY field in the RE Record is not the current TY and the value of the Social Security Wages field in a number of RW Records is equal to the Social Security maximum for the current TY.

To correct this error condition:

  • If the wage report is being submitted for the current TY, change the TY in the RE Record to the current TY.
  • If the wage report is being submitted for a prior TY, change the values of the Social Security Wages field in the RW Records to equal the Social Security maximum for the TY being reported.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Social Security Wages and Tips Equal Prior TY Maximum

The sum of the Social Security Wages field and Social Security Tips field on at least one RW Record appears to be limited to the maximum reportable amount for a TY before the TY on the wage report.

Possible causes of this error condition:

  • The TY on the RE Record is incorrect.
  • The value of the Social Security Wages field and/or Social Security Tips field on at least one RW Record is limited to an incorrect maximum wage base.

To correct this error condition:

  • Change the TY on the RE Record to the appropriate TY.
  • Change the Social Security Wage and/or the Social Security Tips field on all of the affected RW Record(s) to the maximum reportable value for the TY being reported.
  • Pre-test with AccuWage before resubmitting.

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Statute of Limitations

We received your EFW2C submission more than three years, three months and 15 days after the last day of the TY. In general, we cannot accept wage report corrections that reduce Social Security Wages, Social Security Tips, or Medicare Wages and Tips after the statutory period expires. There are some situations, however, which allow us to accept wage report corrections beyond the statutory period.

If your records indicate or you have evidence that we received the wage report prior to the expiration of the statutory period, such as:

  • A letter from Social Security stating the submission was rejected.
  • Documentation from the IRS that indicates acceptance of IRS Form 941-X (944-X, 943-X, 945-X and CT-1X), Adjusted Employer’s Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, for the corrected wage report.

If you have one of the items listed above or think there may be other extenuating circumstances that may allow us to accept the corrected submission, contact your local Employer Service Liaison Officers (ESLO's) or call 1-800-772-6270 (For TDD/TTY call 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturday 5 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or Sunday 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Eastern Time.

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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

AccuWage

The AccuWage application was designed to check the accuracy of the format of wage reports before sending them to Social Security for processing. Specifically, the AccuWage application checks the wage report to ensure it complies with the EFW2 and EFW2C formats and provides error reports listing the errors found in the wage report. Note: The AccuWage application identifies many, but not all, wage submission errors. For example, AccuWage does not verify names and SSNs. The likelihood of submission rejection, though not eliminated, is greatly reduced when using this application. Select the browser's back button to return.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange

The most common format for text files in computers and on the Internet. In an ASCII file, each alphabetic, numeric, or special character is represented with a 7-bit binary number (a string of seven 0s or 1s). Select the browser's back button to return.

BSO - Business Services Online/Electronic Wage Reporting (BSO/EWR)

Social Security's online wage reporting services for employers (upload wage files, download AccuWage software, check the status of your reports, view error conditions) for businesses. Select the browser's back button to return.

Character

A letter, number or punctuation symbol. Select the browser's back button to return.

CR - Carriage Return

A special code that moves the print head to the beginning of the current line. In the ASCII character set, a carriage return has a decimal value of 13. Select the browser's back button to return.

CSRS - Civil Service Retirement System

Compressed

A compressed file is a file that has been temporarily reduced in size by compression software to make it easier to transfer and store. Select the browser's back button to return.

Compression Software

Software that temporarily reduces the size of files so that they can be easily stored and transferred. Once a file has been compressed, compression software must be used to decompress (restore to original size) the file before it can be read. Select the browser's back button to return.

Delimiter

A punctuation character or group of characters that separates two names or two pieces of data, or marks the beginning or end of a programming construct. Select the browser's back button to return.

EBCDIC - Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code

One of the acceptable character sets used for electronic processing of data. Select the browser's back button to return.

EFW2

Specifications for Filing Forms W-2 Electronically (EFW2). Select the browser's back button to return.

EFW2C

Specifications for Filing Forms W-2c Electronically (EFW2C)- Correction of W-2 Information. Select the browser's back button to return.

EIN - Employer Identification Number

A nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to an organization for Federal tax filing purposes. Select the browser's back button to return.

EOF - End of File

A special character or sequence of characters that marks the end of a file. Operating systems need to keep track of where every file ends. There are two techniques for doing this: (1) to put a special end-of-file mark at the end of each file or (2) to keep track of how many characters are in the file. Select the browser's back button to return.

Employer Filing Assistance

Contact Social Security's Employer Filing Assistance at 1-800-772-6270 (For TDD/TTY call 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Select the browser's back button to return.

ESLOs - Employer Service Liaison Officers

Social Security personnel in various locations around the country who can assist employers and submitters with a variety of wage filing questions, issues and problems. Select the browser's back button to return.

Establishment Number

A four position identifier which further distinguishes the employer report in an RE Record determined by the employer which may be used to designate various store or factory locations or types of payroll when a file contains multiple RE Records with the same EIN. Select the browser's back button to return.

FERS - Federal Employees Retirement System

 

Household Earnings

The Employment Type entered in the RE/RCE Record of the EFW2/EFW2C format that indicates Schedule H (Household) reporting. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

I/O Errors - Input/Output Errors

Input/Output describes any operation, program or device that transfers data to or from a computer. Input/Output errors occur when the data transfer cannot be completed. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

IRS - Internal Revenue Service

 

LF - Line Feed

A line feed moves the print head to the next line. In the ASCII character set, a line feed has a decimal value of 10. Select the browser's back button to return.

Media

Media are any materials used to place, keep and retrieve data. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

MQGE - Medicare Qualified Government Employment

Employment with a Federal, State or Local government agency. MQGE wages are subject to Medicare tax but not to Social Security tax. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

Non-MQGE Wages

Wages that were earned from employment other than Federal, State or Local government. Non-MQGE wages are subject to Medicare and Social Security tax. Select the browser's back button to return.

PC - Personal Computer

 

RA Record

The Submitter Record. This must be the first record on each file and contain information regarding the submitter of the wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCA Record

The corrected Submitter Record. This must be the first record on each file and contain information regarding the submitter of the corrected wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCE Record

The corrected Employer Record. This record contains information regarding the employer for whom the wage report is being submitted. A new RCE Record must be generated in a wage report each time any of the information in the record changes. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCF Record

The corrected Final Record. This record is the last record of a corrected wage report and contains the total number of RCW Records in the report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCO Record

The corrected optional Employee Record. This record contains information regarding the employee and their corrected wages when wages are being submitted for one of the U.S. Territories such as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCS Record

The corrected optional State Record. This record contains information regarding the corrected employee wages subject to state taxes. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCT Record

The corrected Total Record. This record contains the sum of all RCW Records in the corrected wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCU Record

The corrected optional Total Record. This record contains the sum of all RCO Records in the corrected wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCV Record

The corrected optional State Total record. This record contains the sum of all RCS Records in the corrected wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RCW Record

The corrected Employee Wage Record. This record contains information regarding the employee and their corrected wages. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

RE Record

The Employer Record. This record contains information regarding the employer for whom the wage report is being submitted. A new RE Record must be generated in a wage report each time any of the information in the record changes. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

Retirement Plan Indicator

An indicator used whenever an employee has participated in an employer maintained retirement plan or a collectively bargained plan. This indicator is not applicable for non-qualified plan or section 457 plan contributions. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

RF Record

The Final Record. This record is the last record and contains the total number of RW Records in the report. Select the browser's back button to return.
 

RO Record

The optional Employee Record. This record contains information regarding the employee and their wages when wages are being submitted for one of the U.S. Territories such as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc. Select the browser's back button to return.

Root Directory

In a computer file system that is organized as a hierarchy or tree, the root directory is the directory that includes all other directories. The root directory does not have a name. Select the browser's back button to return.

RS Record

The optional State Record. This record contains information regarding the employee wages subject to state taxes. Select the browser's back button to return.

RT Record

The Total Record. This record contains the sum of all RW Records in the wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RU Record

The optional Total Record. This record contains the sum of all RO Records in the wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RV Record

The optional State Total Record. This record contains the sum of all RS Records in the wage report. Select the browser's back button to return.

RW Record

The Employee Wage Record. This record contains information regarding the employee and the employee's wages. Select the browser's back button to return.

SSA - Social Security Administration

SSN - Social Security Number

Statutory Employee Indicator

An indicator used whenever an employee’s remuneration is subject to Social Security and Medicare withholding but not to Federal Income Tax withholding. Select the browser's back button to return.

Tax Jurisdiction Code

The code entered in the EFW2 RE Record that identifies the type of income tax withheld from the employee’s earnings for domestic W-2, Puerto Rico W-2PR/499R-2, Guam W-2GU, American Samoa W-2AS, Virgin Islands W-2VI or Northern Mariana Island W-2CM employees. Select the browser's back button to return.

Third-Party Sick Pay Indicator

An indicator used whenever a third-party sick pay payer files a W-2 for an insured’s employee or an employer reporting sick pay payments made by a third party. Select the browser's back button to return.

TY - Tax Year

The year that wages are reported to Social Security. Select the browser's back button to return.

W-2 - Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement

A form used by employers to send employee wage information to Social Security. Select the browser's back button to return.

W-2C - IRS Form W-2C, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement

A form used by employers to send corrected employee wage information to Social Security. Select the browser's back button to return.