Authored By: Inken Christensen, Bookkeeper Logan office
When a business finds it necessary to hire employees it is important to make sure all the required information about those employees is gathered and the appropriate forms are completed. The employer should make sure they have the complete forms before it is time to issue the new employee’s first paycheck. Many businesses have the new employee fill out the employment forms as a part of their orientation and training on the first day of employment. In Utah, there are three forms that an employee needs to complete and submit to the employer. Those forms are the W-4, the Utah new hire form, and the I-9.
Form W-4 – Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate:
The purpose of this form is to notify the employer of the employees exemption allowances so that the employer can withhold the correct amount of federal and state income tax from the employees paycheck. The new employee reports their full name and address, their marital status, and most importantly, their social security number. The individual answers a series of questions in a worksheet format to arrive at the number of allowances they should claim. The employer either enters the allowances in their accounting system or uses the number of allowances and the withholding tables to calculate the amount of federal income tax to be withheld from the paycheck. This form is kept on file by the employer and is NOT submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. It is suggested that this form also be completed at the beginning of each calendar year, particularly if the employee has had any personal or financial changes. This form is available at www.irs.gov
Utah New Hire Registry Reporting Form:
The new hire form is required by federal law. The main purpose of this form is to aid states in identifying individuals who owe child support. The employer can complete this form using the information gathered on the Form W-4 (above). The employer information is reported at the top of the form including the business name, address and employer identification number (EIN). The new employee’s information is reported next, also including name, address and Social Security Number (SSN) and date of hire. This form must be submitted to the state either by mail, fax or online within 20 days of the employee’s first day of work or the employer is subject to a $25 penalty for each missing new hire form. Should an employee take a leave of absence, the employer should submit a new form within 20 days of the date the employee begins to work again. The form is available at https://jobs.utah.gov/UI/Employer/Public/TaxForms.aspx
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification:
The Form I-9 is required by federal law and is used to verify an employee’s identity and to verify that they are authorized to work in the United States. Both the employer and the employee complete this form. The employee must also present various documents to the employer to support their identity and establish their employment authorization. According to the USCIS website, “the employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.” The documentation provided by the employee must be original and unexpired. The list of allowable documentation is included with the Form I-9. Many employers photo copy and attach the items of documentation presented by the employee. The I-9 Form is NOT submitted but retained by the employer “for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later”. Google “Form I-9” to find a copy of the form.
It is imperative that the employer gather these forms within the first few days of hiring a new employee. Doing so will ensure that the employer is in compliance with employment laws and also that the employer has the information they will need to file subsequent payroll reports, including federal employment returns, state withholding returns, unemployment reports and the year-end W-2s.
If you need help finding the forms or have any questions, please contact us at one of our locations.