IG: 358 W-2s Filed With IRS Using False Social Security Number '666'

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2013 | 10:26 AM EDT

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. employers sent the IRS at least 358 W-2 forms in tax years 2007 through 2009 that used the false Social Security “area number” 666, according to an August audit report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.

The area number is the first three digits in a Social Security Number. Prior to June 25, 2011, the Social Security Administration assigned these first thee digits based on the geographical region from which a person applied for the number. Since, then SSNs have been "randomized."

However, "No SSNs with an area number of 666 have been or will be assigned," says the Social Security Administration.

Nonetheless, employers sent the IRS at least 358 W-2s with the area number "666" over the course of three years.

The SSNs with the area number “666”--which in the Book of Revelation is presented as "the number of the beast"--turned up in an inspector general’s audit of inaccurate W-2 forms where the name and the Social Security Number do not match.

The IG report said that W-2s on which the name and the Social Security Number do not match—because the Social Security Number is fake (like one with the area number 666) or belongs to someone else—are often filed on behalf of “unauthorized noncitizen” workers who engage in “intentional misuses of SSNs.”

“Furthermore, a senior tax official at the IRS acknowledged that unauthorized noncitizens accounted for a high percentage of inaccurate wage reporting,” said the IG report.

The IG report said that one of the “obstacles” that was “hindering SSA’s ability to combat SSN misuse” was the IRS reluctance to fine employers who filed bad W-2s.

“In addition, the IRS was reluctant to impose existing fines or penalties against employers who consistently submitted erroneous or inaccurate wage reports,” said the report.

In tax year 2007, according to the IG report, employers filed 10.8 million W-2s on which the name and SSN did not match. In 2008, they filed 9.5 million. In 2009, they filed 7.8 million. And in 2010, they filed 7.3 million.

The IG analyzed the 100 employers who filed the most no-match W-2s over the three years from 2007-2009, and the 100 employers who had at least 100 employees and who filed the highest percentage of no-match W-2s. Together these 200 employers filed 2,477,546 bad W-2s.

It was among these 200 employers that the IG discovered the 358 W-2s with the false area number “666.”

The employer with very worst record for filing no-match W-2s submitted 117,792 of these erroneous documents to the IRS from 2007-2009. Among the employer with the highest percentage of no-match W-2s, the one with the worst records filed 98 percent of its W-2s with names that did not match the Social Security Numbers.

Among the 200 employer who filed the most no-match W-2s and the highest percentage of no-match W-2s, in addition to the 358 SSNs that carried the false area number ‘666,’ there were also 42,164 W-2s that carried an all-zero SSN: 000-00-0000.

The SSA has also never issued a SSN with the area number "000."