Businesses of all sizes regularly exchange vital information with the Social Security Administration. To make these exchanges more efficient, the SSA has a suite of Internet services that allows employers to perform many tasks online.
Using Business Services Online, companies can conduct business with and submit confidential information to the SSA. Once you register, you can request, activate, and access a variety of BSO services and functions, including the following.
View and verify Social Security numbers. Employers often need to verify the names and Social Security numbers of employees against SSA records, and the BSO makes this task easier.
Using BSO, you can verify up to 10 employee names and Social Security numbers at once and get the results immediately. Or, you can upload electronic files of up to 250,000 names and Social Security numbers and usually get results the next government business day. This tool can be especially helpful when completing W-2 and W-2c forms.
Report wages. You can send SSA Forms W-2 and W-2c via an upload of a specially formatted electronic file. Or, you can directly keystroke W-2 and W-2c information into an online form on the BSO site. You can also view the processing statuses of submissions and reports, as well as acknowledge the receipt of requests from SSA to resubmit wage files online and request a onetime 15-day extension for wage file resubmissions.
View name and Social Security number errors. Having correct Social Security numbers and names is critical to accurately posting employee wages and processing annual wage reports. Incorrect names and numbers can cost your company (and employees) both time and money and result in errors and delays. Using the BSO site, you can view the processing statuses, error notices, and mismatches of names and Social Security numbers for your company’s wage files and wage reports.
Request and complete Business Taxpayer Information Form SSA-1694. This form is required for business entities that have attorney or non-attorney representatives as partners, as well as employees who receive direct payments.
File Representative Payee Reports electronically. Individual and organization representatives can electronically file Form SSA-623 for an individual representative payee; Form SSA-6230 for parents, stepparents, and grandparents with minor children in custody; and Form SSA-6234 for representative payee organizations. You can also submit and print representative payee accounting forms via the BSO site, as well as download submitted forms for up to 30 days after submission.
The first step to using the BSO site is to register, which you can do in just a few minutes from the BSO home page. Be sure to have the following with you.
- Type of employer/employee
- Employer Identification Number, name, and phone number
- Your Social Security number and name as it appears on your Social Security card
- Your date of birth
- Your preferred mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address
You’ll also need to answer five different security questions when you register.
The BSO site is extremely secure: All applications within the BSO suite of services use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) communications protocol and 128-bit line encryption to protect user privacy, prevent eavesdropping, and ensure the security of data transmitted over the Internet. However, these security features do not apply to e-mail. It’s strongly recommended that users don’t include private information, especially Social Security numbers, in e-mail messages sent to the SSA.