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Publication 926

What Records Must You Keep?(p11)

Where Refund
Keep your copies of Schedule H or other employment tax forms you file and related Forms W-2, W-3, and W-4. You must also keep records to support the information you enter on the forms you file. If you must file Form W-2, you will need to keep a record of your employee's name, address, and social security number.

Wage and tax records.(p11)

On each payday, you should record the date and amounts of all the following items.

Employee's social security number.(p11)

You must keep a record of your employee's name and social security number exactly as they appear on his or her social security card if you pay the employee either of the following. You must ask for your employee's social security number no later than the first day on which you pay the wages. You may wish to ask for it when you hire your employee. You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. The employee may show the card if it is available. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the card if the employee provides it.
An employee who does not have a social security number must apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. An employee who has lost his or her social security card or whose name is not correctly shown on the card may apply for a replacement card.
Tax Tip
Employees can get Form SS-5 from any Social Security Administration office or by calling 1-800-772-1213.
You also can download Form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration website at

How long to keep records.(p11)

Keep your employment tax records for at least 4 years after the due date of the return on which you report the taxes or the date the taxes were paid, whichever is later.