Paper Trails

What is the new IRS Form I-9?

There is a new federal law for businesses to follow!  The Internal Revenue Service occasionally makes updates to their forms and notices.  One such form that is changing is the IRS Form I-9.  As a business owner, you may be wondering, “what is the new IRS Form I-9?”.  In this article, we will take a look at when businesses will be required to use the new IRS Form I-9 and the changes made to the form.  By the end, you should have an understanding on your requirements of this new form.

What is IRS Form I-9?

The Form I-9, officially called the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is a form that is used for two purposes. First, the form is used to verify an individual’s identity. Secondly, this document provides verification that an employee is eligible to work in the United States. This is done by the new hire submitting acceptable proof of identity.

When is the new IRS Form I-9 coming?

A new Form I-9 (which will be revised on 08/01/23) will be available for employers to use on or after August 1, 2023, and once released can be found on the USCIS website. Employers can also order paper copies if they don’t want to use the electronic version.

The prior version of Form I-9 (which was revised on 10/21/19) continues to be effective through October 31, 2023. Beginning November 1, 2023, only the new Form I-9 (from 08/01/23) will be accepted. Employers do not need complete the new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9.  The only circumstance where they need a new Form I-9 for current employees is when reverification of the I-9 applies after October 31, 2023.

What are the changes to the new IRS Form I-9?

On some revisions to the I-9, there are only a few minor changes.  This current overhaul to the I-9 is quite extensive and includes the following changes:

  • Section 1 (Preparer/Translator Certification) is now a standalone document that employers can provide to employees when necessary.
  • Section 3 (Reverification and Rehire) is also now a standalone document that employers can use if reverification is required.
  • The Form I-9 can now be filled out on tablets and mobile devices as well as easily downloaded.
  • The term “alien authorized to work” in Section 1 has been replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work.”
  • The Lists of Acceptable Documents page now includes acceptable receipts, as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documents.
  • A box has been added that eligible employers need to check if the Form I-9 documentation was examined using the new alternative verification procedure.
  • The instructions have been reduced from 15 pages to eight.

What about the remote verification changes?

Don’t forget that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently announced that the deadline is firm, and employers that were taking advantage of the COVID-19-related flexibility will have until August 30, 2023, to do in-person verifications of employment documents that were only inspected virtually.

If you haven’t kept a list of those employees whose documents were inspected virtually, pull that information together and determine who will serve as your authorized representative to inspect the documents in-person.

What should employers do next?

As an employer, be sure to be using the new Form I-9 for all new hires and reverifications by November 1, 2023.  Failure to do so may trigger an I-9 audit or result in fines for your business.  Further, be sure to in-person verifications of employment documents that were only inspected virtually during the COVID I-9 flexibility period.