New form W-9

Practice Areas

By: Satya Yeruva

Starting on January 22, 2017, all employers are now required to use the new I-9 form (version date 11/14/2016) to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of employees. Failure to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject you to civil money penalties of up to $2,156 per I-9 form, and, in some cases, criminal penalties.

Although the new I-9 form mainly contains format changes, additional data fields, and additional instructions to the employer, it increases the administrative burden placed on employers. The form is now available as a “smart” form that can be completed online, printed in hard copy, and then signed with wet signatures. The hard copies of the online completed “smart” form must be maintained in your records/files.

The Trump administration will be focused on I-9 compliance in the coming year, and you can be sure that federal officials will look to employers to ensure that employment eligibility laws are enforced. Now is the time to ensure that your I-9 form policies and practices are in order, that your Section 2 completers/representatives are properly trained, and that you are ready for any I-9 form audit by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.