New Year, New Paperwork

Isn’t paperwork fun? Obviously it’s a necessary evil in order to get paid, but none of us really enjoy doing it. Luckily the new paperwork only affects new hires or we’d be chasing each and every one of you down to fill it out, so at least the majority of you have dodged a bullet.

What’s new? There is a new I-9 (the citizenship form) and a new W-4 (federal withholding). Thus far, none of the other forms have been updated, but it would be neither a shock nor a surprise if at some point in the near future they are.

The new I-9 doesn’t look all that much different from the old one, with a couple of exceptions. First, you MUST check one of the two boxes that indicate whether or not you used a preparer or translator. Second, you MUST use the following format for date: mm/dd/yyyy, or 02/24/2020. If any other date format is used the forms cannot be accepted and you’ll have to fill them out again. The other thing that is different with the I-9 is on the employer’s end… the person who physically sees your proof of citizenship has to fill out the second page, sign, and date it.

The documents required remain the same: A valid US passport or several other documents that establish both identity and employment authorization (the list is still included in the paperwork). If you don’t have one of those, then you’ll need a document that establishes identity and one that establishes employment authorization. The easiest of those are a Driver’s License (or State ID) and either a Social Security Card or Birth Certificate. Again, there are a few more documents that can be used, which are on the list.

The new W-4 at first glance looks like something that makes unemployment look attractive. Do not be alarmed! You only have to fill out Steps One and Five. The other sections dealing with multiple employers you can safely ignore unless you’re really, really into filling out income tax paperwork. Essentially it’s the exact same information you’ve provided in the past, just on a new form.

Most employers (and also at the IA26 office for UTP paperwork) should have replaced the old forms with new ones in their new hire packets by now. However, it can’t hurt for you to double check so your check doesn’t get delayed. Your I-9 should show an Expiration Date of 10/21/2022. If it shows anything else you have the wrong form. Your W-4 should have 2020 in the upper right corner. Again, if it shows anything else you have the wrong form. Yes, it’s the employer’s responsibility to give you the right paperwork, but they’re only human and mistakes are sometimes made. If your packet has old forms, please point that out so you can be given the right ones. If you fill out the wrong forms, your check will most likely be delayed until you do the right ones.

The most important takeaway here isn’t even that there are new forms,  however. The important thing is the date format. I cannot stress this enough… If you do not use mm/dd/yyyy (02/24/2020) the I-9 cannot be accepted.

Below are images of the new forms.