We wish you would have been able to contact us before you attempted to file your tax return, if you have a W-2 with an incorrect Social Security Number. The reason is that now there may be more work (both paperwork and legwork) involved.
If the Social Security Number (SSN) on your W-2 is wrong in any way,
you see, then you really shouldn't file your tax return until you get the matter
fixed. While the IRS may accept your tax return with an erroneous W-2,
and may even process a request for a tax refund, having a SSN incorrect
on a W-2 can cause many other kinds of problems for you in the future,
not the least of which is a failure to get (any) credit for your W-2
wages with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is an
important consideration, perhaps not so much now, but when you reach
retirement age or become disabled -- and draw SSA benefits -- it
definitely will be.
So, under a normal course of events, here is what taxpayers should do.
First, approach your employer (or your former employer) and ask them to both issue you a corrected W-2 (known as a W-2C), and to also send a corrected copy to the Social Security Administration.
Second, if they are responsive to you, and willing to comply, then you can use the corrected W-2C document you receive to file your tax return (it may take your employer a few weeks to complete the necessary accounting and paperwork to get you the W-2C).
But if your employer is not
willing to help you, or you cannot make contact with them, then you should review and follow the process and procedure outlined at the following IRS
webpage. The IRS will then contact your employer on your behalf, and
help you further, as described.
Third, if your employer won't forward your W-2C (corrected) information to the SSA, then, after you've completed the IRS process, you can additionally contact the SSA and have your earnings record updated to reflect your accurate information. Here is a link to a short SSA document that describes this function, and shows how to notify the SSA about this issue.
That which appears above is all the standard advice for an incorrect SSN on a W-2.
However, unless your tax return was "rejected" by the e-file system when you tried to file (and it came right back to you for correcting), now that you have already filed your tax return, there could be some issues. It's not simply a matter of adding a new document to your tax return (by a process called amending), but rather that you have filed a tax return with an incorrect Social Security Number on a W-2.
As this is the case, we would now recommend that you contact the IRS (using the contact information at the IRS.gov webpage link above) and inform them of the SSN error on your W-2. They may ask you to wait until your original tax return is processed, and then mail an amended return (instructions on how to do an amended tax return are available, here, at the TurboTax AnswerXchange); or they may take your SSN information over the telephone, and ask you to contact the SSA (as is described above); or they may request that you contact your employer to get a corrected W-2C.
It will all really depend on how the IRS wants to handle this; but they do need to be notified (by you) of the matter as reasonably soon as possible.
Thank you for asking this important question.