How to E-File W-2 Forms with the SSA Using Payroll Mate® Software

A Guide for Employers Who Want to Submit Annual W2 Wage Reports Electronically

This tutorial looks at how to generate W-2 wage files using Payroll Mate® payroll software and then upload to the SSA Business Services Online over the internet (federal W2 electronic filing).

What you need in order to follow this tutorial and file your W2s electronically:
  • Payroll Mate® Software with “SSA Wage File Export Optional Feature” enabled.
  • SSA BSO User ID/Password. Each person in your company who is using SSA Business Services Online (BSO) should register for his or her own User ID (formerly Personal Identification Number or PIN). If you do not have a BSO User ID, please visit https://www.socialsecurity.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm and register for a new account. You can also call 1-800-772-6270 and register by phone.
  • All employees’ information and payroll checks should be complete, accurate and ready for filing with the SSA. Review discrepancies such as missing employee addresses or invalid Social Security numbers.

Summary of Steps to E-File W-2s With Payroll Mate®

Step # Step Details
1 Navigate to the W-2 Page inside Payroll Mate, review W-2 forms and make sure all information is accurate and ready to upload to the SSA.
2 Navigate to the W-3 Page inside Payroll Mate, double check the totals and company information.
3 From inside the W-3 Page, click on the “Create W-2/W-3 Electronic File (EFW2)”.
4 Enter all information for the W-2 Electronic Filing Setup and select the location where you want Payroll Mate to create the W-2 Electronic File.
5 Fix any errors that Payroll Mate gives you such as incomplete employee or company information.
6 Payroll Mate will create the output W-2 Electronic File and show a success message.
7 Log into the SSA AccuWage System and validate the file that Payroll Mate generated.
8 Once you validate the file, upload to the SSA Business Services Online system.
9 When the uploaded file passes the preliminary checks, it will be automatically submitted to the Social Security Administration and the system will display a success page.

How to contact the SSA if you need help with W-2 E-Filing

Payroll Mate W2 E-File: Detailed Steps + Screenshots

Step # Step Details
1 Start by going to the W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) screen inside Payroll Mate. To do that, click on the “Forms” button and then “W-2”. See screenshot below:


Payroll Mate W-2 efile open w2 forms screen

2 Now Payroll Mate will load the W-2 / W-3 Wizard. Read the info in the first screen and click next to get to the W-2 Page. You should see a screen like this:


preview w-2s

3

Review all W2 forms and make sure everything is accurate. You can click the “Preview” button to see the W2s for all employees. For each employee, check the name, Social Security number and address. You also need to review the different W2 boxes such as wages, federal income tax withheld, Social Security tax and Medicare.

In the unlikely case where you might want to override the amounts on the W-2s, you need to do all the edits for all W2s and then navigate to the W-3 screen, so your changes get reflected on the W-3 and the e-Fil submission. Do not do W2 edits, close out of the W2 screen and then go back later to do more edits and do the e-Filing.

4

Once you have checked all W-2s, navigate to the W-3 screen by clicking the “Click Here to Continue to W-3 Form” button. See screenshot below:

Go to the W-3 Form

5

Now you will see the W-3 page with three buttons. Click on the first button that says “Preview Form W-3”.

Preview W-3 Form

6

Examine the W-3 form boxes in detail. Please check all company details, including name, address, and EIN. Additionally, you should confirm that the totals in each box—especially the one labeled "Total number of Forms W-2"—are what you had anticipated.

7

After reviewing the W-3 form, close the preview window. Then, click the "Create W-2/W-3 Electronic File (EFW2)" button to launch the electronic filing window.

Click the [Create W-2/W-3 Electronic File (EFW2)] button
8 Now Payroll Mate will open the “W-2 Electronic Filing Setup” screen (as shown in the screenshot below). In here you need to fill out the submitter information, contact information and the location (computer folder) where you want Payroll Mate to create the output file. Next to each box there is a small question mark icon that you can click to know what needs to be entered in that box.

W-2 Electronic Filing Setup Screen
9 Once you have entered and reviewed all information in the “W-2 Electronic Filing Setup”, go ahead and click the “OK” button and Payroll Mate will create the resulting W2 Wage File that you need to upload to the SSA. If there are no issues in the output file, Payroll Mate will show the success message below:

W2 EFile Created Successfully Message
10 Now we need to check the file generated by Payroll Mate using AccuWage tool:
  • Log on to SSA Business Services Online:
    https://secure.ssa.gov/acu/LoginWeb/loginHandler.do
  • Select the 'Report Wages to Social Security' link
  • Accept the attestation
  • Once on the Electronic Wage Reporting (EWR) home page, select the fourth tab labeled AccuWage Online and then click the AccuWage Online link to access the AccuWage Online Home page.
  • Open AccuWage Online
  • Under “Submission Type” select “W-2(Regulars)” and then click the “Start Testing” button.
  • Upload the wage file that was generated by Payroll Mate (remember the success message that Payroll Mate shows when you create the file has the name and path of the file that you need to upload).
  • Very Important Note: Please ignore / disregard the following informational alert message that AccuWage might show when testing the file: “This alert is informational only. Submitter EIN [Position 3-11] and Employer/Agent EIN [Position 8-16] are an exact match. Please verify that you intended to have the Submitter EIN and Employer EIN match before proceeding. No further action is needed if this was intentional.”
  • For a full tutorial for AccuWage online, refer to the official documentation from the SSA or call 1-800-772-6270.
11 Now we come to the most important step of this whole process. We need to upload the wage file to the SSA. :
  • From inside the AccuWage page, you need to click “Return to EWR Home” to go the main page. OR you can go to the Business Services Online link https://secure.ssa.gov/acu/LoginWeb/loginHandler.do, login and then click on 'Report Wages to Social Security' link.
  • Select the Upload Formatted Wage File tab to access the new Wage File Upload program.


  • Upload Formatted Wage File tab
  • Click Submit a Formatted Wage File.

  • >Click Submit a Formatted Wage File
  • Check the radio button for W-2/W3 forms for Tax Year 20xx or previous tax year (EFW2).

  • >Check the radio button for W-2/W3 forms for Tax Year 20xx or previous tax
  • Click the Browse button.
  • Select the wage file that was generated by Payroll Mate. Do make sure to select the correct file. Please remember that the file created by Payroll Mate always starts with “W2REPORT - ” and then the company name. So, for example if your company name is “My Company” then the file name would be “W2REPORT - My Company.txt”.
  • Click "Upload File" button. If the file passes the preliminary checks, the system will display a success page; if the file fails the preliminary checks, the system will display a failure message on the Upload File page or a failure page with failure information and instructions on what to do next.
  • Print the confirmation for your records.

If you would like to follow the official Wage Upload Tutorial from the SSA, please refer to the link below: https://www.ssa.gov/employer/documents/WageFileUpload.pdf

12

In a couple of days, check the W2 wage file upload status:

  • Log on to SSA Business Services Online.
  • Click the "Report Wages to Social Security" link.
  • Click the "View Submission Status" link.

See official tutorial from SSA:
https://www.ssa.gov/employer/documents/SubStat.pdf