Learn more about Social Security's NEW access and registration process for Business Services Online (BSO). You can access the pre-recorded webinar video, presentation, and frequently asked questions on our Wage Reporting Community Meetings and Webinars webpage.
If you were unable to file Forms W-2 electronically or by paper with the SSA by January 31st, you may request only one 30-day extension with the IRS by completing Form 8809. For more information refer to About Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov).
If you are required to e-file, you can request a waiver from this requirement by filing Form 8508. To request the waiver, submit Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically.
Quick Reference Guides
- Helpful Tips
- Decoding the BSO Activation Codes
- Here's what BSO can do for you
- Taxpayer First Act
- How to Register and Get an Activation Code (New)
Taxpayer First Act (New)
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued final regulations that reduce the electronic filing threshold from 250 W-2s to 10 informational returns (such as Forms W-2 or 1099), beginning January 2024.
- If you file 10 or more informational returns, you must file electronically unless the IRS grants a waiver or exemption.
- This new process makes filing quicker, easier, and reduces errors, that helps to avoid delays in processing your reports.
- For more information, please visit:
The Business Services Online (BSO) access and registration process has changed for Employer Services ONLY!
Note: This change does not apply to Appointed Representatives (AR), Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) and Internet Representative Payee (IRPA).
Allow at least 2 weeks to complete the registration process, well ahead of the January filing deadline.
SSA updated how you access a BSO account for the following services:
- Wage file upload
- W-2/W-2C online
- AccuWage online
- Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS)
- View wage report name/SSN errors
Your BSO User ID and password is no longer used to access BSO wage reporting services.
If you do not have a Social Security online account or a Login.gov or ID.me credential, you will need to create one from our Social Security Sign in page. This is a new requirement to access BSO employer services.
Once the credentialing and authentication process has been completed, current BSO User ID(s) will be associated with your new credential.
Frequently asked questions
Can I sign in with my personal my Social Security account username and password?
Yes. If you have created a Social Security Online account (such as my Social security) before September 18, 2021, you can use the username and password to sign in once redirected from the employer webpage. Your username and password will be associated with your BSO User ID.
Why do I need to add extra security?
Social Security uses different levels of security depending on the sensitivity of the information being accessed. These additional levels of security are to ensure your information is protected.
Business Services Online (BSO) has added an extra layer of security to keep your data safe and secure
- If you are a new user or need to add wage reporting to your existing account, we will mail an activation code.
- The activation code is sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS) to the employer’s address registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Your employer will usually receive it within two (2) weeks.
- Your employer should give you the instructions and activation code as soon as received. You will need this information to complete your account registration or the change to your existing account.
- We recommend registering for BSO before the W-2 reporting season in January 2024.
- BSO includes the following services:
- Reporting wages to Social Security using W2/W3 Online or W2c/W3c Online or Wage File Upload.
- View name and Social Security number (SSN) mismatch.
- Social Security Number Verification Service.
- AccuWage Online.
For Appointed Representatives (AR), Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) and Internet Representative Payee (IRPA) ONLY, we recommend that you verify your BSO password every 90 days. If you forget your password it can take up to 10 business days before you receive a new password via USPS.
Registering Without an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Currently, we are unable:
- To mail an activation code to new users registering without an EIN. This includes Self-Employed and Household employers. Therefore, you are unable to file electronically. We are quickly working on a solution to accommodate users without an SSN.
- If you do not have an EIN, you will need to mail paper W-2/W-3 and W-2c/W-3c to our Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center.
- As a reminder, we can only process Forms W-2 that are Copy A (for SSA), red and white ink or black and white ink, and two to a page. Visit the Paper Forms W-2 & Instructions page for address information.
- You also have the option to hire a 3rd party to submit W-2s electronically on your behalf.
Foreign Address Without SSN
At this time, if you are a foreign registrant and do not have a SSN you will not be able to file your W-2/W-3 reports electronically. Instead, you will need to mail paper W-2/W-3 and W-2c/W-3c to our Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center. Please visit the Paper Forms W-2 & Instructions page for address information.
Foreign Address With SSN
If you are a foreign registrant and have an SSN, you may be able to access our Business Services Online (BSO) wage reporting services by creating or using an existing ID.me account. Access to the BSO application requires multifactor authentication.
ID.me is a Single Sign-On provider that meets the U.S. government’s most rigorous requirements for online identity proofing and authentication. You must start at the BSO Welcome page. From the Employers box, select the 'Log in’ or ‘Create account’ link to verify your identity with ID.me.
Electronic Filing Options (EFW2)
- Wage File Upload
- Process your file and provide results in real-time. Receive a receipt right away
- Track your submission to completion
- Know if you have errors immediately after submission
- Must be in the EFW2/EFW2c Format
- For more information on Wage File Upload there are a variety of options:
- Read the tutorial
- View the infographic
- View the video
- Our new application provides a receipt and an immediate notification whether your file passed our edits or if you must fix any errors. You will receive the results in less than 60 seconds.
- W-2 Online - Create, save, print, and submit up to 50 Forms W-2 for Tax Years 2020 - 2023.
- Electronic Wage Reporting Web Service (EWRWS) (ssa.gov) - Developers of payroll and tax reporting software, as well as payroll service providers, can use this to create a web service client to electronically file wage reports.
No More Screen Scraping or Scripting in BSO
We do not allow screen scraping or scripting to upload files or to use W-2 Online. If you previously used these programming techniques to upload W-2 forms electronically, it will no longer work.
For smaller businesses, we also have a FREE W-2 Online service
- Key up to 50 W-2s and 25 W-2cs and submit electronically.
- Review and print completed report with your employees.
- No need to send paper!
For more information, go to How to Use SSA's Free W-2 Online Website to view the video.
- You may shorten the SSN on W-2s, except on Copy A
- We will not accept shortened SSNs that only show the last four digits (XXX-XX-1234) on Copy A Form W-2 or in the SSN field when using the EFW2. Show all nine digits for proper processing.
- If you need information about whether your employee's reported name and SSN match our records, please view our Verify SSNs page.
Find Helpful Information Online
Go to our employer page for videos, tutorials, and other useful information and links.
Customer Support for Access and Registration
For assistance with the credential and identity verification process.
- Login.gov Help Center
- ID.me Help Center
- National 1-800 #:
- For registration issues relating to the Social Security online accounts.