Changes to the I-9 Form

It’s important for employers to produce accurate and up-to-date I-9 forms on new hires. This form is used to verify the eligibility of new hires to work in the United States. Some long awaited revisions have taken place and as of May 2013, old I-9 forms will not be accepted. To help ensure your business stays in compliance, you will find helpful tips and answers to common questions about the I-9 updates below.

Form I-9 Correction Notice Published*

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the recently revised Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. USCIS announced in the DATES section of the notice that employers can no longer use prior versions of Form I-9 effective May 7, 2013. USCIS incorrectly described the effective date as being after May 7, 2013.

On April 9, 2013, USCIS published a correction notice in the Federal Register. This notice corrects the error and clarifies that employers may no longer use prior versions of the Form I-9 effective May 7, 2013.

*Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website

Here are answers to a few common questions about the I-9 updates.

1. Employers do not have to refile I-9s for current employees. The one exception to this are foreign employees who only have temporary authorization to work in the U.S.. You will need to re-verify their eligibility using the new form.

2. You can acess the new form by visiting the USCIS website.  To order USCIS forms, employers can also call 1-800-870-3676 or visit www.uscis.gov/I-9Central

 

3. There are serious fines for not complying with USCIS’s directives. Employers who fail to verify their staff can face fines of up to $1100 per employee.

 

Check out this news brief from Breazale, Sachse, and Wilson, LLC law firm for a more in-depth look at the I-9 changes.

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The Making of Pamiris Client Spotlight Video Series: Pt II

One of our initial pair of client profile videos featured Second Stories, a self-described “faith based, nonprofit, community development corporation, focused on neighborhood transformation in Portland and beyond.” (The other client we interviewed was Coffeehouse NW/Sterling Coffee – click here for the video.)

Filming the video, our team (Alyssa, Jared, and I) was faced with different hurdles of filming a nonprofit whose work revolves around building community. We had to walk the line between exposing the amazing work Second Stories does without overexposing the people they seek to build personal connections with.

I was still an intern when I initiated the project, and was admittedly a little intimidated by the perceived monster I had created for myself. Luckily, the videographer Alyssa tracked down from her extensive network of creatives was Jared Birt. A man perfect parts laid back and professional, Jared was able to take my ideas and turn them into well-edited videos worthy of the Pamiris Youtube page.

In preparation for the project, Jared, Alyssa and I met to discuss our vision for Pamiris’ sophomore online video. For the Coffeehouse NW/Sterling Coffee Roasters video, I had drawn up a thorough set of story boards. But because I had never visited the locations where Jared would be shooting, the team had to be more flexible and creative while filming and editing the video. We prepared a video consent form and question list before contacting executive director Clark Blakeman about filming.

We decided to film parts of a conference where he was lecturing, and a Friday Night Stories session. During Friday Night Stories, the Second Stories crew and a group of 30 registered participants stand on SE Powell and 82nd to hand out hot dogs and listen to the different voices of the community. While we wanted to film Clark and his team in action, we had to honor the privacy of the individuals sharing their stories. Jared was careful to keep his distance while filming and allow Clark and his team to do their work in the community.

In the end, Jared did an excellent job piecing together the footage. Clark and assistant director Andreas Lunden eloquently articulate both the pleasure they find in their own work, and how helpful Pamiris has been in adapting to their nonprofit payroll needs.

We’re currently looking for more client volunteers to participate in the second round of our client spotlight video project. Please email me, Sarah Eadie, if interested.

Want to hear more about what Pamiris can do to minimize your payroll, HR, and timetracking headaches? Request a quote.

SlideCast Seminar: Independent Contractors and 1099s

Earlier this month, Senators introduced the Payroll Fraud Prevention Act (S. 770). This bill seeks to characterize misclassification of employees as a form of payroll fraud. If passed, the bill would expose businesses who misclassify “employees” as “non-employees” (such as independent contractors) to fines of up to $5,000 per worker per violation of the law. (Click here for a more extensive write-up about the bill – link opens in a new tab).

With this bill on the Senate floor, there’s no better time than the present to brush up on your understanding of employer/independent contractor relationships. We’ve put together a brief SlideCast that covers the basics of independent contractor relationships and filing 1099 forms.



Was this SlideCast helpful to you? If so, we hope you’ll pass it on. If not, please leave a comment letting us know how we can provide more helpful and relevant information about payroll and HR.

Taking the Plunge: Deciding to Outsource Payroll

Stack of paperwork

If your desk is starting to look like this, it may be time to outsource your payroll to an online service provider.

Whether you’ve just made your first hire, or your company headquarters is already packed with productive employees, you can enjoy the increased time, money, and peace of mind knowing that your payroll is in competent hands. Outsourcing payrollallows you to focus on the key functions of your business, and leave tedious details in the hands of a professional. Unsure how to go about outsourcing your payroll to an appropriate provider? Keep reading.Step 1: Define your business objectives. Discuss the following questions with your executive team, and be very precise with your answers.

  • What processes are you considering turning over to an outsourced payroll service provider?
    Bad answer: “We want to outsource our payroll process.”
    Good answer: “We want to outsource our payroll process, including payroll-related tax calculations, withholdings and deposits, to an online-based provider who offers electronic reports, mobile payroll services, and direct deposit payment options.”
  • What do you hope to achieve by outsourcing these processes?
    Bad answer example: “We hope to see an overall increase in productivity.”
    Good answer example: “We hope that by eliminating payroll as a technical concern, that our office administration team will have more time to commit to crucial projects X, Y, and Z.” or “by outsourcing payroll our HR personnel will have the ability to focus on X,Y,Z”
  • What results are you expecting from outsourcing these processes?
    Bad answer example: “Easy pay periods.”
    Good answer: “As a small company with an uncomplicated payroll, we expect to spend a maximum of 2 hours per pay period double-checking our information before handing the process over to our payroll service provider. At that point, we expect to be removed from the equation beyond the occasional phone call.”Remember: if you skip this step and enter into an agreement without fixed expectations, there’s a good chance both you and the company you’ve hired will become frustrated with the business relationship.
Step 2:Do your homework. Talk to a few businesses that look similar to yours on paper about outsourced payroll service providers they use. Then, talk to a few businesses that look similar to how you want your business to look on paper about which companies they outsource to. Narrow your choices down to two or three companies.Step 3: Meet with prospective outsourced service providers, questions ready. You may want to inquire about how these service providers have dealt with payroll issues similar to ones your company faces. At your meeting, be clear and upfront about the objectives and expectations you defined in Step 1.

Step 4: Weigh the pros and cons. While you want to be sure to crunch numbers and get the most bang for your buck, there are equally important factors to consider that aren’t as easily quantified:

  • Competence- Is their work punctual and accurate?
  • Scalability- Can their infrastructure adequately accommodate client growth?
  • Ease of Use- Does using their services give you a headache? Is their system well designed, properly labeled, and user friendly?
  • Flexibility- Are their representatives willing to work with any unique situations? Is their system able to expand to accommodate extra features?
  • Relationship- Are you treated like your business and time is valuable? How long do you have wait on the phone before speaking to a client representative?

Step 5: Pick a winner. You’ve done your homework, met with providers, and weighed the merits of each. You’re ready to make an informed decision. Choosing an outsourced payroll service provider should be the beginning of the end to accounting-related headaches and tedious work-arounds. It’s time to enjoy your freedom, and focus on what you do best- running your business.

This article is inspired numerous Quora questions concerning the “best” payroll provder for their company. We hope that this was helpful in addressing the misconception that there is one “best” outsourced payroll provider for any company. Was this article helpful in addressing these concerns? Is there other information you’d like to see addressed in future blog posts? Let us know in the comments.

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