Analysis: Most earnings payment data is reported correctly – only few corrections are made

2/11/2022

Payers submit approximately 50 million reports related to wages to the Incomes Register annually. Data submitted is usually corrected by submitting a replacement report. On average, 4% of reports are replacement reports.

Last year, the Incomes Register examined the methods and reasons for making corrections by analysing corrections made between 1 January 2020 and 31 July 2021.

According to the analysis, most corrected reports had only been corrected once. Most corrections were corrections to income types; in 50% of the cases, at least one income type was changed. The second largest type of correction was correcting an overpayment by changing the paid income into an unjust enrichment (20% of the corrected reports).

Of the corrections, 74% were made directly from payroll software via an interface, and most of the remaining corrections were made in the e-service (25%). Very few corrections were sent on the paper form.

Users found reporting an overpayment, i.e. an unjust enrichment, for the original pay period and making changes in situations involving exceptions to insurance difficult.

Reconciliation helps ensure that earnings payment data is reported correctly

No single reoccurring reason was found for the corrections in the analysis. When a correction is made in payroll accounting, a corresponding correction is made to Incomes Register data.

In payroll accounting, corrections are made to the current data but in the Incomes Register, corrections are made according to the original payment date. This is necessary because Incomes Register data users search for data from different periods. Otherwise benefits could be granted based on incorrect income data, for example.

For earnings payment data reconciliation, the Incomes Register has two payer’s transcripts available as CSV files:

  • Summary of payer’s earnings payment data (630)
  • Income type specific summary of payer’s earnings payment reports (618).

The file format (CSV) enables processing the files with a spreadsheet, for example.

In last October, new data items were added to both payer’s transcripts to facilitate reconciliation; a data item for an unjust enrichment was added to the earnings payment data summary and a data item for the tax withheld and tax at source collected from a recovered amount was added to the income type specific summary of earnings payment reports.

Currently, the Incomes Register is investigating if it would be possible to enable payers reconcile income earner data via an interface.

The Incomes Register intensifies its collaboration with software companies and improves error notifications

According to the analysis, 93% of earnings payment reports are submitted to the Incomes Register directly from payroll software via an interface, whereas the corresponding figure for corrections is only 74%. To address this, the Incomes Register aims to intensify collaboration with software companies.

The Incomes Register also continues to improve its error notifications. Last year, user instructions and error notifications of the Incomes Register’s e-service web form were improved. This year, interface feedback will be made more specific and the character limit of error descriptions will be increased. A list of the error codes returned by the interface is available as an Excel file on the Incomes Register’s website. The list is available in English, Finnish and Swedish.

The Incomes Register will also monitor errors encountered by payers and payers’ ways of reporting more closely. Based on the monitoring, the Incomes Register will send instructive messages and targeted notifications to payers to improve the quality of data and support the reporting of data in the correct format.

Instructions for making corrections provided on the website will also be improved. Updated detailed guidance on correcting data in the Incomes Register has already been published.

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