Extra Services For Employers

A smiling woman gardens in a nursery storeOur beneficiaries aren’t the only ones who do business with Social Security. We have a variety of online tools for employers that make managing employee information quick, easy, and secure.

Through Business Services Online (BSO), employers, as well as organizations, businesses, attorneys and non-attorneys representing Social Security applicants and third parties can exchange information with us over the Internet.

BSO offers:

  • Electronic wage reporting;
  • The ability to view and correct name and Social Security number (SSN) errors;
  • SSN verification;
  • Access to a form to update business taxpayer information; and
  • Forms submission and printing for representative payees.

After registering for BSO, you can interact directly with us through our enhanced online services to meet many of your needs.

Our three-part YouTube series, called “The Joy of Using BSO,” has helpful registration instructions and highlights our SSN verification and electronic wage reporting services.


48 thoughts on “Extra Services For Employers

  1. Is there a charge to set up the BSO? Also, can it be used to verify SSA income for tenants living is Section 8 housing?

    • There is no charge to set up a BSO account. You cannot use it to verify SSA income for tenants living in Section 8 housing. For more information on the services available through BSO, please visit us here.

      • was wondering and new update for child benefits i trying to get my father but i got all qulifcation but one which i was married now divorced when i lost i was told i would keep it so i was lied to about that thanks

    • Johnnie, to get federal taxes withheld from your Social Security benefit, please print, complete, and submit an IRS Voluntary Withholding Request Form (Form W-4V). On this form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 15, or 25 percent of your monthly benefit withheld. The completed form needs to be taken in person (or sent by mail) to your local Social Security office. To find the Form W-4V and for more information on completing this process, please go to our Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits web page.

      • Is there any plan to make this an online option in the future? I have a number of clients who would accept my suggestion to have withholding taken out of their benefits if it was easy to do online. I have one client on a Peace Corps mission in Africa for whom printing and mailing is a real problem, but she really needs withholding due to other income.

  2. I would like to know if it is true that I can apply for SS and receive $ when my ex husband (married for 20 yrs). starts getting his social security benefits. How will I know? Will someone notify me. He lives in P.R. and I live in FL. Please advise, thank you!

    • Great set of questions, Maria! Yes, “If You Are Divorced“, and your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you could receive benefits on your ex-husband’s record. When your ex-husband applies for retirement benefits, he will have to provide us with his marriage information, to include your address or contact information, if he knows it, so that we can send you a letter asking you to apply for benefits under his record. If he is age 62 or older and has not applied for but qualifies for retirement benefits, you can apply and receive benefits on his record if you have been divorced for at least two years. You can call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to speak with one of our representatives for further assistance. Or, you can visit your local office.

    • Kathy, there is no fee to use our Social Security Number Verification Service, a free online service that will allow you to verify that the names and Social Security numbers of hired employees match Social Security records. For more information on BSO, you may call our dedicated Employer Reporting Service Center Hotline at 1-800-772-6270 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., or email BSO at bso.support@ssa.gov.

  3. Can a client allow access to their accountant or CPA to obtain SS income information to aid in preparation of their tax returns?

    • Sue, because a beneficiary’s personal information is confidential, we do not disclose information in an individual’s Social Security record to anyone else unless we have his or her consent. However, you can provide a copy of your SSA-1099 to your accountant or CPA to help with tax return preparation.

  4. I have been married twice – 13 years each time
    1st husband – widowed.
    2nd husband – divorced.

    I have been told that I can collect on my 1st husbands social security when I am 60.
    1) How do I get information on this?
    2) Can I switch to “my” social security at full retirement age (67)?

    • Kathleen, yes you are eligible to apply for survivors benefits from your first marriage when you reach age 60 (age 50 or older if you are disabled). You may switch to your own retirement benefits if your retirement rate is higher than your rate as a widow. We compare your own retirement benefit with your current survivor benefit. In many cases, you could begin receiving your survivor benefit at a reduced rate and then, at your full retirement age, switch to your own retirement benefit at an unreduced rate. Visit here for further information on survivors benefits for widows. To find out how much you are eligible for on each record and to discuss your options, please contact us Monday through Friday at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., or visit your local Social Security office.

  5. I would be very interested in an online program through BSO to prepare 1099 forms. I love using the software to complete W-2 forms and the reconciliation, but having a program to prepare the 1099’s would be just great! Is anything like this forthcoming?

    • 1099s are only filed with the IRS, so the SSA has no reason to offer this service. Back in the day (before BSO) I prepared a few W-2s by hand, so I know that W-2s are mailed to (filed with) the SSA, which then shares the info with IRS.

    • Hi Renee, We are glad to hear that you like our online W-2 form service for employers. However, since employers file 1099 forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not Social Security, we do not offer that service.

      We do mail a form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits they received from Social Security in the previous year so they know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on their tax return. Beneficiaries can get a replacement form SSA-1099 online and view or print it by creating a my Social Security account. Thanks!

    • Pretty much the same answer – 941s are only filed with the IRS, so SSA has no reason to offer 941 online filing. I don’t do payroll taxes, so I don’t know if IRS offers this service, or if you have to purchase third-party software in order to e-file.

    • Marilyn, we recommend you contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this helps.

    • Same as above: 941s are not filed with the SSA, so SSA has no reason to offer 941 e-filing. The IRS is in charge of 941 returns. I don’t prepare 941s (I only do a few W-2s for Schedule H household workers) so I don’t know how 941s can be e-filed, sorry!

      SSA receives W-2s so that they can record and update employee earnings records. Then they pass on the W-2 information to the IRS so that IRS can match W-2s to tax returns, and also match employer W-2 totals to 941 totals.

  6. what are all these ads about increasing ss cheques through canada? is that a scam? my husband is retiring thats why im asking, i am still working as adjunct prof, probably retire when im 80

  7. My late husband and I were divorced. He was remarried when he died. When I am eligible for retirement can I claim his SS benefits. If so, how do I go about this and is there any information on guidelines?

    • Hi John and thanks for contacting us. Yes, we can withhold Social Security benefits to enforce a legal obligation to pay child support, alimony or restitution. State laws determine a valid garnishment order. By law, we garnish current and continuing monthly benefits. We do not make retroactive adjustments. For more information read our Frequent Asked Questions page on this topic.

  8. Hello, could you please tell me if and how our social security is affected if we file “Married filing Separately” in Arizona (a community property state)?

    • Hi Michelle, for any income tax related questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040.

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  9. I am the Financial Representative Payee to a disabled man who I have cared for over 3 years. I was injured and had emergency back surgery so I was not with him and signed off being his financial payee for just one month. The other PA signed on and then I signed back on at the end of November, 2014. In doing this at such a late date in the month, his money went to her Direct Express Card and she cut it up. We are still missing his November payment and have been given the run around since Dec 3rd when we realized that his money from Social Security was NOT there and is still not being given to him. Our local office has had me on a wild goose chase since December and I dont know who else to call, what to do, and how it should be done! Somebody HELP please! I have called Direct Express where his money goes onto the card at the beginning of every month but we are still missing Decembers payment and when he lives off of only $750 a month, its a lot to lose and TRY for four months already to get it back with no luck. This is in no way his fault or mine but our local Social Security Office has gotten us nowhere! Its always call back in 1 week…..2 weeks……one month……as these things take time…..Please…..it doesnt take 4 months……John at our Local office said the money was returned to them on Feb 12th and then went to a “processing center” on the 16th and NORMALLY the money is automatically kicked onto the card…..it still has not been and he cant answer WHY this has not happened as of yet……what should I do????

    • We apologize for the delay and inconveniences you are experiencing, Lori. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  10. Helpful comments . I learned a lot from the insight . Does anyone know where my assistant might be able to access a template a form example to fill in ?

  11. Phone call to change the amount of voluntary withholding from his SSA monthly check: After my husband Donald waited over 40 minutes to speak with someone at SSA, he was informed he had to wait for a form and mail it in.
    The form W-4V I was able to print out online for him, but now seems that it needs to be hand delivered to the SSA office. How else can he make this change? If he ever did have an online account he does not know it, nor ever wrote info down.

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