Hiring a new employee can be a daunting task for an employer. The open position has to be posted and advertised, candidates have to interviewed and properly vetted, and once the position is filled the mounds of paperwork start to stack up. Hopefully, this post will clear up some of the paperwork issues that arise in the process of hiring employees. With regard to payroll, there are four main forms that all (Ohio) new hires should fill out immediately after accepting the position. They are:
- Federal Form W-4
- Ohio IT-4
- Ohio New Hire Form
- USCIS Form I-9
Let's take a closer look at each form, beginning with the Federal Form W-4. The purpose of the W-4 is to make sure the correct amount of federal tax is withheld from the employee's earnings. If the employee does not return a completed W-4 before their first
payroll is processed you must withhold federal taxes at the single, 0 allowances amount. It is advised by the IRS for the employee to consider filling out a new W-4 every year and when personal or financial situations change. The directions are pretty straight forward on how to figure the number of allowances to claim. A common mistake made by employees is claiming exemption on line 7 and also filling out lines 5 or 6. If an employee claims exemption on line 7 then the only other lines that should be filled out are lines 1-4. Lines 5 and 6 should left blank.
The next form the employee will need to fill out is the Ohio IT-4. The IT-4 ensures the correct amount of Ohio state tax is withheld much like the W-4 does for federal taxes. The directions for filling out the IT-4 are relatively simple, one item of note is the employee must list his/her public school district of residence. If this is left blank it is strongly urged that the employer visit www.tax.ohio.gov and use The Finder
to determine if there is an applicable school district tax to withhold.
The third form is the Ohio New Hire form. This form is becoming antiquated with each passing year due to the number of employers reporting new hires electronically. We offer electronic reporting of new hires to our clients free of charge. Although electronic reporting eliminates the need to complete this form, it is still recommended due to the date of birth field. This is the only place employers capture this data for newly hired employees. (Unless it is listed on the employer's custom employment application form.)
The last form discussed is the USCIS I-9. The purpose of the I-9 is to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each employee. There are three sections that make up the I-9: Employee Information and Attestation, Employer Review and Verification, and Reverification and Rehires. We'll briefly discuss each section below and highlight the main points but it is strongly recommended to read the detailed instructions for this form before completing it.
The first section is for the employee to complete. Along with basic personal information (name, address, DOB, etc.), this section requests the new hire's work status. The four options are a citizen of the U.S., a noncitizen national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work. Please note if the new hire selects either of the last two options additional information is required. A lawful permanent resident requires an Alien Registration Number (A-Number) or a USCIS Number. An alien authorized to work requires in all but a few exceptions the date their employment authorization expires and their A-Number/USCIS Number. If no A-Number/USCIS Number has been received, the new hire can record the Admission Number from form I-94.
The second section is for the employer to complete The employer must have section 2 completed within three business days of the employee's first day of employment. Page 9 of the I-9 lists the acceptable documents the employee can present to prove employment eligibility. They must provide one document from List A - or - one document from List B and one document from List C. Employers cannot specify which document(s) employees present. The instructions on how to examine and record each document can be found in the pages preceding the I-9 form. Please review them before completing the form.
Section 3 is reserved for occasions of rehiring an employee within three years of the date the Form I-9 was originally completed. Employers have the option of completing a new Form I-9 or completing section 3.
Hopefully, this brief summary clears up some of the confusion of new hire paperwork with regard to payroll. All of the mentioned forms can be found on the "Employee Forms" page of our website.