There are billions of dollars in taxes from unknown sources that the Social Security Administration collects every year.
Sometimes, employers send in W-2 forms that have Social Security numbers that don’t match with anyone on record. That’s when the agency routes these documents to an Earnings Suspense File. Here, the paperwork sits until people can prove the wages were theirs
The Earnings Suspense File contains Social Security tax forms that date back to 1937. They are linked to the taxes that were paid on nearly $1.3 trillion in wages. Some of the W-2s in it belong to people who got married and never reported changing their name. And some of them are people who didn’t filled out their tax forms correctly.
Since 2014, efforts to track these taxpayers down allowed the Social Security Administration to match 171 million tax forms to their rightful owners.
Yet, the file contains 340 million unclaimed tax forms, compared to 270 million nearly a decade ago. A great number of these forms were filed by employers on behalf of undocumented immigrants. As a matter of fact, illegal immigration is the biggest reason for the file’s growth. Undocumented workers pay billions in taxes for retirement benefits they will likely never receive.
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