The Social Security Administration collects billions of dollars in taxes from unknown sources every year. There are cases where employers send in W-2 forms that have Social Security numbers that don’t match with anyone on record. Because of this, the agency routes these documents to an Earnings Suspense File. Once they get there, 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. These are connected to the taxes that were paid on nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.
Part of the W-2s in it belong to people who got married and never reported changing their name. Of course, some of them are people who didn’t filled out their tax forms correctly.
Thanks to the efforts to track these taxpayers down in 2014, the Social Security Administration was able to match 171 million tax forms to their rightful owners.
However, the file contains 340 million unclaimed tax forms, compared to 270 million nearly a decade ago. Many 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.