Tax Season Is Here: Are Your Forms Up to Date?
As an employer, it is your responsibility to remain in compliance with all legal forms your employees must fill out. Included in those forms are the I-9 and W-4. Recently, there have been changes to the forms and require employer attention and action. Please carefully review the updates made to the Form I-9 and Form W-4 to ensure you remain in compliance with federal requirements.
On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a new Form I-9 and are requiring employers to implement the new form completely by May 1, 2020. The previous version that expired on August 31, 2019 is still accepted and may continue to be used until the May 1, 2020 date. The new Form I-9 was approved by the Office of Management and Budget with the new expiration date of October 31, 2022.
The paper version of Form I-9 remains relatively the same as the previous version. However, the electronic Form I-9 has implemented some minor changes, including:
- Additional countries in “Country of Issuance” section
- Specifies an “Authorized Employer Representative” requirements
- USCIS website address update
- Refines list of acceptable documents
- Revises process for paper version requests
- Revises Department of Homeland Security’s privacy notice
A few reminders regarding compliance of the Form I-9:
- All U.S. employers must complete for all employees employed in the United States, including citizens and non-citizens.
- Both employees and employers must complete the form.
- A list of acceptable documents is located on the last page of the form.
- Employers must retain the form for a specific time period and make available for authorized government officers.
- Spanish version of the form is only available for employers and employees located in Puerto Rico.
The Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4) is completed by employees to verify tax withholdings. Though the IRS does not require Form W-4s to be submitted to them, it is important for employers to keep secure records on file and ensure compliance with updates that may occur.
A federal redesign of Form W-4 was released on January 1, 2020 with the purpose to simplify the form by constructing clear, concise language for employees to better understand. Many questions have come up since the release of the new Form W-4, for which some of the top FAQs are answered below.
Question #1: Do all employees need to fill out a new Form W-4?
Answer #1: No. Employees who are hired before 2020 do not need to fill out a new form. However, employees hired after 2020 and those who wish to make adjustments to their Form W-4 will need to fill out the new form.
Question #2: Are there programs to assist me in completing the Form W-4?
Answer #2: Yes! There is a Tax Withholding Estimator that can assist you in determining a more accurate withholding estimate.
For more information on the new Form W-4, please visit the IRS website.
If you’re still not sure how to fill out the new forms, who is impacted by the new forms, or have any additional questions, please contact QBS. We understand how frustrating new forms and processes can be on business owners who are already overwhelmed with their day-to-day operations.