What are the forms employers need to be filling out when they hire someone new?
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
It is common knowledge that when you take on a new employee, there is a lot of paperwork to be done. However, we want to make it clear:
1. What forms need to be filled out
2. How long these forms need to be kept on file
3. What penalties employers can face if they don't have these forms on file
Let's take it through step-by-step:
1. What forms do employers need to fill out for a new hire?
The forms listed below are required to be filled out by the employer for a new hire.
W-4 (Download here)
IT-2104 (Download here)
I-9 (Download here)
NYS Pay Rate Form LS 54 (Download here)
2. How long do employers have to keep this paperwork on file?
Though it is not required by law, the best practice for a company in New York is to retain its employees' personnel files for the length of the employee's employment plus five years.
This is the case, among other reasons, because an individual may file a lawsuit under the New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 8-101 - 8-131 (the "NYCHRL"), for unlawful discriminatory practices in employment for up to three years after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice, and because that three year period is tolled upon the filing of a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights or the State Division of Human Rights and during the pendency of such a complaint and any court proceeding for review of the dismissal of such a complaint. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-502(d). Such a complaint could well remain pending - and, as a result, the NYCHRL's three-year limitations period could well be tolled - for at least two years. (Taken from LexisNexis)
3. What are the penalties if employers do not have the right paperwork on file?
NYS and the Federal Government (IRS) are adamant about having the right paperwork filed. In order to enforce these requirements, monetary penalties are often enforced. Recently, there has been a lot of talk regarding I-9 penalties with regards to immigrant workers. Here is what was published on the ICE site:
"Monetary penalties for knowingly hire and continuing to employ violations range from $573 to $20,130 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties, at the higher end. Penalties for substantive violations, which includes failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $230 to $2,292 per violation. In determining penalty amounts, ICE considers five factors: the size of the business, good faith effort to comply, seriousness of violation, whether the violation involved unauthorized workers, and history of previous violations."
To stay in compliance, file the right paperwork, and learn more about penalties that can affect you, make sure you discuss your situation with the accounting experts at Beyond Accounting.