The paperwork generated by summer hires doesn’t have to make you hot under the collar. These tips will help you tame the hiring process:
1. Require new hires to present their Social Security cards, and use the Social Security Administration’s Social Security Number Verification Service to confirm that their names and Social Security numbers match. Go to www.ssa.gov/employer/ssnv.htm for information.
2. Photocopy new hires’ Social Security cards for W-2 purposes. Don’t put anyone on the payroll who doesn’t present a Social Security card.
3. Report new hires to the appropriate state agency.
4. Provide W-4s to new hires who have never worked for the company. Any rehires who worked for the company this year and received an early W-2 must also file a new W-4. Any rehires who worked for the company this year and didn’t receive an early W-2 need not file a new W-4.
5. Eliminate the I-9 verification process for rehires, if rehiring occurs within three years of the original verification, you’re sure they’re the same people, the original I-9s show they can work in the U.S. and you update section 3. Heads up: Rehires who didn’t complete I-9 forms with a revision date of Feb. 2, 2009, or Aug. 7, 2009, must file new forms and be reverified.
6. Enroll summer hires in your direct deposit or paycard program, and provide them with appropriate explanatory material.
7. Don’t enroll summer hires in your health and retirement plans. A manual override will be necessary if you have auto-enrollment cafeteria and 401(k) plans.
8. Students probably aren’t exempt from federal income tax withholding. To find out, provide them with IRS Pub. 3136, which is available at www.irs.gov. However, they may be exempt from state withholding, so have state W-4 forms available for them to complete.
9. If you hire your children, thoroughly document their work to avoid suspicion that you’re deducting their allowance as a salary expense. Pay them when other employees are paid and what other employees with comparable duties are paid.
10. Sole proprietors or members of spousal partnerships who hire their children may not owe FICA or FUTA on their wages. Children younger than 18 who work in their parents’ business are exempt from FICA and FUTA. Children between the ages of 18 and 20 are exempt from FUTA.
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