Form I-9

Employment Eligibility Verification

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Form I-9

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.

It’s the responsibility of every employer to retain a completed copy of Form I-9 for each individual on their payroll. They must store the form for three years from the hire date or one year after termination of employment (whichever is later).

As noted by the IRS, there may come a time when U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice request to inspect the form.

Completion of Form I-9

Unlike many IRS tax forms, Form I-9 requires both the employer and employee to provide information.

The employee is responsible for Section 1, Employee Information and Attestation. In addition to basic contact information, the employee will provide:

  • Social Security number
  • Attestation of being a citizen of the United States, a noncitizen national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work

Note: Employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than their first day of employment.

Employers are responsible for Section 2, Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification.

In addition to copying some information from Section 1, employers must complete the applicable sections from List A, List B, and List C.

Note: Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. The employer must also request and examine one document from List A or a combination of one document from List B and one from List C.

Since November 6, 1986, when the Immigration Reform and Control Act went into effect, employers have been required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees through the completion of Form I-9.

Failure to obey this law can result in fines ranging from $375 to $16,000 per violation.

If you have concerns about completing and managing Form I-9 for every employee, consult with your tax professional and payroll provider.