Senators Bennet and Coburn Introduce Savings Bill to Advance Electronic Filing of W2 Forms

Bill would save taxpayers over $11 million annually

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) introduced a bill that could save taxpayers over $11 million annually by requiring employers who are filing W-2 forms with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to submit their employee W-2 forms electronically.   In many spheres—whether it is the increased use of electronic medical records or on-line bill pay—we are seeing more people choosing to use the Internet to do business. Current regulations only require employers submitting more than 250 W-2 forms to submit them in electronic format. Whereas for employers submitting less than 250 W-2 forms, current regulations simply encourages the use of electronic filing. This bill modernizes an outdated and inefficient system by directing all employers to take advantage of electronic filing but also allows for a hardship exemption for small businesses with 5 employees or less.

“By bringing this reporting system into the 21st century, we can save taxpayer money and make the process more efficient and accurate,” said Bennet. “This is a great example of the kind of commonsense solutions we can craft to reduce costs and modernize our reporting requirements.”

“Requiring the SSA to process hard copy W2 forms is outdated and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year.  When most Americans are using the Internet to do business, failing to modernize this arcane system is irresponsible. This bill is a win-win for the SSA and small businesses across America,” said Dr. Coburn.

Although most forms are submitted to SSA electronically, 16 percent (over 33 million) are processed in paper form and manually entered into the agency’s system. Not only does this process promote keying errors, but it is costly and inefficient.  According to SSA’s Office of Public Service and Operations Support (OPSOS), in FY 2010 – for tax year 2009 – it cost approximately $0.34 per paper W-2 and $0.002 per electronic W-2 to process submitted wage reports.