Our summer hires from last year are back–are they ‘new’ employees? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Our summer hires from last year are back–are they ‘new’ employees?

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Q. We have a few college students who work for us during their summer break. According to the law, are they required to complete new employment paperwork (I-9, W-4, etc.) each year? — Marchia, Oklahoma

A. New W-4s must be completed every year if the em­­ployee claims to be exempt from income tax withholding (as might be the case with full-time students) because otherwise you’ve got to withhold at the highest rate set by the IRS. Otherwise, there is no need to up­­date the W-4 from year to year—although the employees may want to do so to ensure that what is withheld is appropriate for them.

As for I-9s, you don’t need to obtain a new I-9 if the employment is seasonal and the individual reasonably expects to return. That’s because the federal government does not consider this a break in employment and there­­fore, the person is not a new hire. Read a summary of the regulations.

One I-9 caveat: If the employee submitted an I-9 supporting document that has expired between last summer and this summer, you will need to update the paperwork. The publication referenced above provides guidance on that, too.

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