New Form I-9 effective January 22, 2017

The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the latest revisions to the Form I-9, which is used to verify that an employee is eligible to work in the United States, in August 2016. The form contains new electronic features and other changes.

The updated Form I-9 will be available by November 22, 2016; however, employers may continue using the Form I-9 that was issued on March 8, 2013, through January 21, 2017. This is welcome news for employers struggling to keep current with the latest changes and requirements.

The new form is intended to be completed online, then printed, signed and retained as required by law. There is no change to the retention requirements for the forms. New features introduced on the revised form specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, including:

  • validations, drop-down lists, and calendars on certain fields to support accuracy;
  • embedded instructions for completing each field;
  • buttons that allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form, and clear the form to start over; and
  • a quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to speed up the process of enforcement audits.

form I-9Employees and employers can expect to see other changes to the I-9 beyond the new electronic features. To minimize discrimination, employees will only be required to record other last names used rather than all other names used. Additional spaces will be available for documenting multiple preparers and translators, and a checkbox has been added to indicate if a translator was not used.

Employment verification through E-Verify remains a separate transaction from completing the Form I-9. Current employees will not need to submit an updated I-9 unless completion of Section 3 is required after the January deadline has passed.

Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to stay current on updates regarding the Form I-9 and to access resources such as the Handbook for Employers, a Form I-9 guide. For any questions about the new changes, contact your WK advisor at (573) 442-6171 or (573) 635-6196.

“FAILSAFE” DETERMINATION LETTER PROGRAM IS GOING AWAY. Beginning in January 2017, the IRS is abolishing the staggered five-year amendment cycle for individually designed plans and will not accept determination letter applications based on the five-year cycle. If your organization offers an individually designed plan, this means you’ll face significantly higher burdens in order to stay in compliance.
EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION: THE EMPLOYER’S RESPONSIBILITIES. By federal law, employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are eligible to work in the United States, and the government provides two tools for doing so: the Form I-9, which all employers are required to complete, and the E-Verify system, which is optional for some employers and required for others.
PAYING “REASONABLE COMPENSATION” TO KEY EMPLOYEES. As the owner of a business, it is your responsibility to know if you are paying your employees a fair salary in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service.

Posted By Beth Fitzgerald, Human Resources Generalist on 11-22-2016 | Topics: Articles, Employer, Newsletters,