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Records Employers Must Keep

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1412. Records Employers Must Keep

1412.1 What information about employees must the employer keep?

Employers must keep the following records:

  1. Names, addresses, and occupations of employees receiving wages;

  2. Employees' periods of employment;

  3. Employees' Social Security numbers;

  4. The employer's identification number;

  5. Total amount and date of each wage payment (including tips reported to the employer by the employee);

  6. Amount of each wage payment subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes and the amount of tax withheld; and

  7. Farm operators who utilize services of "crew leaders" must keep a record showing the name, home address, and employer's identification number of the crew leader.

1412.2 What copies of these records are kept?

The employer (except a household employer) must keep duplicate copies of the quarterly and annual returns on which employees' wages are reported for Social Security purposes.

1412.3 How long must the records be kept?

These records must be kept for a period of at least four years after the date the tax is due or is paid whichever is later.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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