Social Security:

IRS Data Can Help SSA Credit More Wages

HRD-90-112: Published: Aug 31, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1990.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Gregory J. McDonald
(202) 275-5365
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how the Social Security Administration (SSA) resolved problems in crediting wages to workers' social security accounts.

GAO found that: (1) as of June 1989, SSA had about 178 million wage reports worth $138.4 billion of uncredited earnings in its suspense file; (2) SSA reduced the size of the suspense file and credited more workers' wages by using independently developed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data to identify to whom the uncredited earnings belonged; (3) as of June 1989, IRS had resolved 345,950 tax year 1987 wage reports, representing $2.1 billion in wages, that SSA continued to carry as unresolved in its suspense file; (4) although not all IRS resolutions passed the SSA validation check for crediting wages to individual accounts, SSA could credit many of the accounts after additional followup; (5) SSA could directly credit about 120,000 of the IRS resolutions that matched valid SSA accounts; and (6) IRS matched the remaining unresolved 226,380 wage reports to social security (SSN) and name combinations that did not agree with the SSA official SSN and name control file.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SSA and IRS revised their agreement as GAO recommended. Suggested data will be shared, beginning with tax year 1991 wage reports. Results of SSA use of shared data will not be known for several years.

    Recommendation: The Commissioners of Social Security and Internal Revenue should amend their existing agreement governing the exchange and use of tax information to provide for the routine sharing of IRS wage report resolution data.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SSA and IRS revised their agreement as GAO recommended. Suggested data will be shared, beginning with tax year 1991 wage reports. Results of SSA use of shared data will not be known for several years.

    Recommendation: The Commissioners of Social Security and Internal Revenue should amend their existing agreement governing the exchange and use of tax information to provide for the routine sharing of IRS wage report resolution data.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 13, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Jul 29, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 27, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

Apr 19, 2016

Apr 13, 2016

Apr 7, 2016

Mar 28, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here