We want to keep you up to date on all changes that effect your business. Today, we bring you a compliance update from the American Payroll Association regarding the new Form I-9.
What is it?
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration services, Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals who are hired for employment in the U.S. Employers are required to complete a From I-9 for each person they hire to work in the U.S., including citizens and non-citizens.
What’s the story?
Form I-9 got a facelift. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new Form I-9, along with updated instructions. Along with these changes comes a new date. Employers have to start using this new version by January 22, 2017. Until that date, employers have the flexibility to use either the new form, or the old version.
So what changed?
Electronic seems to be the way to go in today’s day and age, and tax forms are no exception. Revisions have been made to Form I-9 so it’s easier to complete on a computer. Some new features include a start over button, on screen instructions for each section and drop down lists, to name just a few.
The electronic changes also bring options. Employers can now use either the computer form, the paper copy or both. However, the form available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website can’t be signed electronically. The form must be printed, signed and dated by hand, where required. An exception to this rule is if the employer has their own I-9 system that meets certain requirements, in which case they may choose to use e-signatures.
Other changes made to the From I-9 include:
- Wording Changes
- Prompts to ensure correct information
- A separate area to add additional information
- Ability to add multiple preparers/translators and a supplemental page for them
But that’s not all …
Another change to the Form I-9 is the separation of the instructions. The instructions now include specific directions for completing each portion of the form. The new and improved instructions also include a list of documents used during the verification process, as well as commonly used abbreviations. If an employer is planning to rehire an employee, they will find guidance on when and how a previous Form I-9 may be used if the rehire is within three years of the previous date on the I-9.
The moral of the story…
One thing is certain: employee forms are complex. If you don’t stay up to date on changes, Uncle Sam might be shaking his finger at you and your business. If you ever find yourself struggling to keep up with these changes, let us know – we’re ready to help!