Revised IRS Form I-9 Effective in January

The Department of Homeland Security introduced Form I-9 both to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants and also to protect workplace rights of “authorized” individuals living in the United States, regardless of their status. Starting January 22, 2017, employers must use a revised version of the form, which was released on November 14, 2016.

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment eligibility of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual that they hire. This is true both of citizens and non-citizens. Among other things, the form requires employers to examine the employment eligibility and identity documents of candidates for employment.

To download the revised Form I-9, visit A fillable and a print version of the form are available. Between now and January 22, the current form may still be used. However, employers can start using the new form immediately should they choose.

Employers who fail to complete and maintain Form I-9 for each employee will be subject to:

  • Civil fines
  • Criminal penalties (when there is a pattern of violations)
  • Debarment from government contracts
  • A court order requiring the payment of back pay to individuals discriminated against
  • A court order requiring the employer to hire individuals discriminated against

By way of example only, failing to comply with Form I-9 employment and verification requirements carries a penalty of up to $2,000 for each improperly completed form!

For more information, or for help understanding or completing Form I-9, please contact Wright Beamer at (248) 477-6300 or visit our website at

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