Alabama is a state that is getting more and more of its residents back into the workforce. As of August 2023, they had 2.3 million employees.
When someone is in the Yellowhammer State for a full-time job, specific paperwork needs to be filled out. This paperwork for new hires gives the government the information they need about the new hire and your company.
What new hire paperwork in Alabama does HR need to stay on top of? This guide goes through each document you will need to give to a new hire as part of their onboarding.
Read on to learn it all!
One form that comes straight from the IRS is the W-4 form. Every new corporate company employee must fill this out as it is for tax purposes.
What does this form require? It will start with basic information, such as the employee's name, address, social security number, and filing status.
The rest of the W-4 form comes down to what kind of claims the employee wants to make with their taxes at the end of the year. Part of this comes down to whether that employee is filing by themselves or if they are filing jointly with a spouse.
Then, the employee has to factor in whether they have kids. If they have kids, they will likely claim those kids living with them as dependents. This can give that employee a huge tax break, so it can be a crucial part of this form to fill out correctly.
Another thing that the W-4 form will ask someone about is other forms of income that this person has. An example can be having a spouse's income on here if someone is filing jointly. Or, if that person has a second job, they would have to disclose how much income they make per year from that other job.
On top of additional income, the IRS will want employees to claim any deductions they may wish to make here at the end of the year. This can also help the employee save money on taxes.
This is a considerable part of onboarding new employees because this form goes directly to the federal level. Make sure you do not forget to give your employee this form.
On top of the W-4 form, employees in Alabama must also fill out an A-4 form.
What is the difference between these two forms? The W-4 form covers all federal taxes, and the A-4 form focuses on Alabama state taxes.
The purpose of this form is to withhold certain state taxes and determine if an employee is exempt from certain taxes. To do this, they will have to fill out certain information about themselves.
The main thing that the Alabama government wants to know is what kind of household the employee has. They have the option of listing themselves as single, married but filing separately, or head of household.
Employees should also list the number of dependents on this form if they have any at all.
All of this information can help an employee get a tax exemption, depending on what they fill out. That is because there are different amounts of money that employees are eligible for when it comes to state tax exemption. However, this comes down to their filing status.
The A-4 form helps the government better understand what that filing status is and if the employee qualifies for an exemption.
One other form you need for new hires is Form I-9.
What is this? It helps the federal government make sure that the employee that you are hiring is who they say they are and that they are legally allowed to work in this country.
Depending on someone's visa status or background, they may not be eligible to work specific jobs. An example can be someone who has a lengthy criminal record not being eligible for a government job.
However, this does extend to people who are on specific visas. If someone from another country wants to work while they are on a visa, they need a special business visa to be legally allowed to work for you. Being on a general visa usually does not legally permit someone to work while they are in this country.
The I-9 is not just for employees that you are in the onboarding process with. Companies should keep this form for up to three years after the employee leaves your company.
Make sure you review the requirements around this form carefully.
New Hire Reporting
In Alabama, local businesses must report any new employee they hire within seven days. This allows Alabama's government to better track who works in the state. It can also help for tax purposes when it comes to both your company and the new employee.
With this new hire reporting, you must acquire specific information. Most of that information is included in one of the forms mentioned above. This is pretty standard information, such as the employee's name, address, social security number, and contact information.
This helps the government track who is on your company's payroll and what kind of taxes your company may owe the state government each quarter.
Adhering to Local Requirements
Along with the federal and state forms mentioned above, make sure your company complies with any local laws about new employees. Most of this article covers companies in Alabama. But you may run into some local ordinances with regulations on top of the federal and state ones.
One of those ordinances is Mobile. Because this is one of the biggest cities in the state where a lot of companies operate, they provide their jurisdiction on certain matters with new employees.
Companies located in bigger cities in this state should do some research on this subject and see if they have to give employees any other forms during the onboarding process.
Mobile may not be the only city in the state with specific new hire requirements. Birmingham also could have certain new hire paperwork guidelines, which you are going to have to follow if your business operates in the area. It never hurts to do some research on local business laws in smaller towns as well.
Notice of Coverage Options
Another thing that Alabama may make a company give to new employees is a Notice of Coverage. This form lets employees know their healthcare options with your company.
Say your company does not give healthcare options to employees or limits it to employees with full-time status. In that situation, the form goes over the options the employees have, and then they can sign it.
However, say your company does give out healthcare options to employees. Then, this form may get more complex. In this scenario, the form will review every healthcare plan your company offers employees.
The Affordable Care Act was made over a decade ago. It is a policy that ensures everyone in the country is able to get affordable healthcare.
It can allow employees to get a plan that fits their specific needs. For example, they may need a specialist to treat injuries or conditions with their liver. An employee may have severe dental issues that they want a better dentist to take a look at. Or, they could have terrible vision and need access to a plan with good vision coverage.
Whatever the case may be for your company, this form helps employees see what their reasonable options are for healthcare with your company. Then, they can decide if the policies available can meet their needs.
Child Support Certification
Finally, Alabama has certain legal protections and legal requirements when it comes to child support. This certification makes sure that any new employee you hire does not currently owe any child support.
Unfortunately, some people try to relocate to another area or another state to get out of paying child support. This system helps track those people down and get the appropriate child support to the rightful party.
If there is a new employee who owes child support to somebody, you do not have to fire them. What will happen is that the IRS will garnish their wages until the employee pays their child support off.
Review this part carefully because if you do hire an employee who still owes child support, your company will have to play ball with the IRS if they decide to garnish the employee's wages.
Organize Your Onboarding Documents to Ensure You Comply
These are some of the onboarding documents you need if you are an HR rep in Alabama. Of course, you need to have the W-4 to satisfy the IRS requirements and the I-9 to verify employee identity and right to work. However, you will also need the A-4 to satisfy state tax regulations.
On top of these two documents, look into forms for child support, notice of coverage, personnel records, local regulations, and more.
Do you need help organizing your employee onboarding? Take a free tour of GoCo to see how we can help streamline your onboarding processes.
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