Hiring New Employees: Filing Government Forms

All businesses that hire staff must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You must have this number in place before hiring. The IRS uses it to track your company’s employees.

Government Forms to File:

  • W-4 or Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate
  • I-9
  • W-5 or Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate (if employee is eligible for the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Start a file for each employee, keeping records of the forms filed as well as proof that this employee has the right to work in the United States. This can be in the form of a driver’s license, birth certificate or Social Security card.

W-4 Form

Normally, keeping this form in the employee’s file is all that is required. However, you need to send it to the IRS immediately if the employee:

  • claims more than 10 withholding allowances
  • will earn more than $200 per week but claims to be totally exempt from withholding tax (often as is the case when hiring a student or part-time employee)
The information received from this form is crucial for calculating the reductions in the employee’s salary for federal, state and local taxes.

I-9 Form

This form proves the employees eligibility and identity. Attach copies of the employee’s Social Security card and driver’s license or birth certificate. Keep this information in the employee’s personal file.

W-5 Form

If the employee is eligible for EIC (see above) then this form is required or you may choose to use the “Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate.”