How To Complete Form I-9 For Each New Employee
Most paid employees must complete a Form I-9 when starting a new job in order to confirm their legal eligibility to work in the U.S. The form is required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Small employers must process a Form I-9 for each new worker, even if the business has only one employee.
Form I-9 is usually presented to a new employee at the same time as IRS Form W-2, which is the tax form for calculating withholding. Since Form I-9 is intended to confirm identity, additional supporting documents must be produced by your new employee.
On their first day, new employees must complete their designated portion of Form I-9. Employees attest on the form that they are legally authorized to work in the U.S. The form is then returned to the employer for verification, along with the supporting documents.
The instructions for Form I-9 contain lists of acceptable documents that you may rely upon. Some documents establish identification only, and some documents establish only the authorization to work. Other documents may establish both identity and work authorization. As an employer, it is your role to verify that the provided documents appear genuine.
An employer must retain each Form I-9 for three years after the start of employment, or for one year following the end of employment, whichever is longer. Form I-9 contains a designated section to complete if an employee is rehired while the form is still in retention. The paper form is retained by your company, but an additional process is required in some states.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides an online service for employers to confirm the information provided on Form I-9. The online service is referred to as E-Verify, and its use is mandatory in several states. E-Verify utilizes information from federal databases to provide confirmation of your employee's identification and work eligibility.
There are exceptions for workers who are not required to complete a Form I-9. Minors under the age of 18 are exempt, as are persons who perform irregular domestic work in a personal residence. Independent contractors and workers placed through a temporary employment agency are also exempt.
The completion of Form I-9 is relatively straightforward for most employees. If required, the E-Verify program is designed to provide a quick confirmation of the submitted information. Contact a small business lawyer like Ponath Law Offices for more information about employment issues..