New I-9 Form Available November 22nd

by Matthew Person on October 28, 2016

New I-9 Forms Will Be Available November 22, 2016

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 required employers to verify that all newly hired employees present documentation verifying the employee’s identity and legal authorization to accept employment in the United States. The I-9 (“Employment Eligibility Verification”) form must be completed by every employee hired after November 6, 1986.

On Aug. 25, the Office of Management and Budget approved a revised Form I-9. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must publish a revised form by November 22, 2016. Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 N until January 21, 2017. After January 21, 2017, all previous versions of Form I-9 will be invalid.

The new I-9 form is a ‘smart’ PDF form that includes new error-checking features and is designed to reduce some of the confusion created by the current 1-9. The proposed changes specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, and include more information validation such as a check for the correct number of digits in an SSN, more drop-down lists and calendars and a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training extensions. Employers will still need to print the form, obtain hand-written signatures, store the documents safely and retype the information into e-Verify as required.

In addition to requiring an I-9 for every new hire, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 warns employers not to discriminate against individuals on the basis of national origin, citizenship, or immigration status. In practical terms, this puts employers on notice that they must not ask a new hire for any specific document to verify his or her employment eligibility or refuse to accept an I-9 document that appears to be genuine on its face. Failure to follow the appropriate procedures in the I-9 verification process can lead to:

  • Civil fines;
  • Criminal penalties (where there is a pattern or practice of violations);
  • Debarment from government contracts;
  • Court orders requiring back pay to the individual against whom the company discriminated; and
  • Court orders requiring the employer to hire an individual who was discriminated against in the I-9 process.

Employers should begin familiarizing themselves with the coming changes to the Form I-9. A smart version prototype, which can be used to preview the form’s new functionality, can be found on the Federal Register website. If you are concerned about your the compliance of your hiring practices, including the correct handling of the new I-9 forms, schedule an appointment with us today to review your employment process.

Contact Person Huff CPA Group

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