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Hiring Employees - What You Need for Your Records


Hiring Employees – What You Need for Your Records

If you hire employees there is information that you need to secure for your records and forms that you must complete.

Eligibility to Work in the United States – Form I-9

You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. Have the employees you hire fill out Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification .  This form may be downloaded at This form must be filled out no later than the first day of employment and must be kept on file for as long as the individual works for the employer.  Once the individual’s employment ends, the employer must retain this from for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.

Employee’s Social Security Number (SSN)

You are required to get each employee’s name and Social Security Number (SSN) and to enter them on Form W-2. (This requirement also applies to resident and nonresident alien employees.) You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the social security card.

Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. You can identify an ITIN because it is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number “9” and is formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNN).

Note: An individual with an ITIN who later becomes eligible to work in the United States must obtain an SSN.

Employee’s Withholding

To know how much income tax to withhold from employees’ wages, you should have a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate , on file for each employee. This form may be downloaded at  Ask all new employees to give you a signed Form W-4 when they start work. If employees claim exemption from income tax withholding, they must indicate this on their W-4. The amount of income tax withholding must be based on filing status and withholding allowances as indicated on the form. If a new employee does not give you a completed Form W-4, withhold tax as if he or she is single, with no withholding allowances.

A Form W-4 remains in effect until the employee gives you a new one. If employees claim exemption from income tax withholding, they must give you a new Form W-4 each year. For exceptions and invalid Forms W-4, refer to Publication 15 Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide.  These forms must be retained for at least four years after the date the last return was filed using the information on the W-4.

Arkansas New Hire Reporting

Federal and State law requires employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees in Arkansas to the Arkansas New Hire Reporting Center. This must be done within 20 days of the hire date.  The form to report may be downloaded at  Completed forms may be faxed or mailed to the state.  Address and fax number are on the form.  You may also set up an account online at to report newly hired employees electronically.