Department of Taxation and Finance

Administration of Selected Components of the Wage Reporting System

The Department of Taxation and Finance maintains the Wage Reporting System, which contains the name, social security number and gross wages paid to each employee residing or employed in New York State. Employers are required by law to report this information each quarter. The information is reported to a contractor and then forwarded to the Department. If the information is reported to the contractor in paper format, it is converted to electronic format by the contractor. According to the terms of the contract, at least 95 percent of the information should be converted accurately. We examined whether this standard was met by the contractor and found that it was not. Based on the results of our examination of a statistical sample of converted information, we estimated that between 89.3 and 94.3 percent of the information was converted accurately. We also found that large discrepancies in reported wages were often corrected in an untimely manner, or were not corrected at all.

We further found that employers who failed to report the required information by the due dates were not always penalized as required by law. For example, during one quarter alone, nearly 15,000 delinquent employers were not assessed required penalties of about $2.7 million. We recommended that such penalties be assessed in accordance with requirements, and action be taken to improve the accuracy of the information on the Wage Reporting System.

For a complete copy of Report 2001-S-42 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.