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New Hire Paperwork and Compliance for Missouri

This guide goes over everything Missouri employers need to know about onboarding and new hire paperwork.

October 13th, 2023

With over 3.1 million employees working in the Show-Me State, a lot of onboarding paperwork must be completed every year.

Yet, the hiring process can be daunting for companies. With so much necessary paperwork and complex legal standards, it can be difficult to keep up. That's why streamlining the onboarding process is crucial if you work in HR in Missouri.

What new hire paperwork in Missouri do you need? What legal compliance do Missouri companies have to stay on top of during the onboarding process? This guide will answer those questions and more.

I-9 Form

One of the most crucial forms you have to give to a new hire who walks into your office is Form I-9. This form helps the government verify someone's eligibility is in order. It helps determine whether someone is legally allowed to work in America.

Employees start by filling out simple information such as their first and last name, home address, email address, telephone number, and social security number.

Next, the form will ask the employee to provide their status in the United States. The four options include a United States citizen, a national who is not a citizen, an alien who obtained the proper work permit, and a permanent resident who is here legally.

If the employee is an alien, they must give additional information. This can be either a registration number or a foreign passport number and the country that the passport came from.

This happens more often than you may expect, considering the number of work-eligible visas the United States gives out.

For companies, this form protects them and verifies that they hire people who are legally allowed to work. For employees, this form could prove that they are meeting the obligations of their status in this country, such as if they are supposed to be an alien on a working visa.

W-4 Form

The next form you must give a new employee is the W-4 form. This is the employee's withholding certificate.

The main goal of this form is to have an employee's taxes be as accurate as possible. It ensures the appropriate amount of money for taxes is taken out of your paycheck to avoid more paperwork later.

A company must match employee contributions on their taxes. Companies unsure about how much money to match can consult the W-4 for more information.

W-4 forms also benefit employees because it helps them avoid penalties for the wrong amount of money withheld for taxes. When this happens, employees may have to pay additional money in taxes plus penalties associated with inaccurate paperwork. Or, they could end up not getting the money that they deserve.

Filling out this form ensures the proper withholdings based on the employee's salary, marital status, and household gross income.

All of this information can help give companies and the IRS a good idea of how much of an employee's salary should be withheld for tax purposes.

W-9 Form

If you are working for a company that hires independent contractors, you are likely going to have to give them this form. The purpose of the W-9 form is to remain legally compliant as a company. In other words, you are mainly giving people this form so that you can collect their tax information.

So, what does this form require people to fill out? It starts with the basics, such as a name and address. If they have a business name, they should include that as well.

Then, they have to fill in either a social security number or an employee identification number. After that, they just need to sign the form.

Report the Employee

As a company, there is some legal compliance that you are going to be expected to keep up with. One of the hiring laws in Missouri is reporting your employee to the appropriate group.

In Missouri, that means that every time a company hires a new employee, they have to report that new employee to the Missouri Department of Social Services. According to the Revised Statutes of Missouri, companies have 20 days from the time that the new employee is hired to do this.

However, this may not be limited to just new employees. Let's say a company hired an employee in the past. For some reason, it did not work out before, but the company decided to re-hire this employee.

In that situation, the company still has to report the employee within 20 days of hiring them. In the eyes of the law, it is essentially like hiring a brand new employee, so you have to do this paperwork all over again.

Missouri State Income Tax

Something that you cannot forget about is the fact that employees in Missouri have to pay a state income tax. The exact percentage in state taxes varies depending on how high your income is.

Missouri does offer a standard deduction that allows employees to avoid being taxed on their entire salary by the state. Then, you have to measure the percentage of tax by the taxable income.

An example can be that in 2022, once you have more than $8,968 in taxable income, any dollar over that is subject to a 5.3% state income tax.

As an HR representative in your company, you will have to stay on top of these tax brackets and the percentage of income tax owed in each. Keep in mind that the tax brackets are adjusted every year mostly due to inflation. So, make sure that you have accurate reports before filing this part.

Workers' Compensation

Because you are representing your employer, you are likely going to be obligated to carry out their best interests. This includes making sure that each employee is covered under the employers' workers' compensation program.

This protects the company from paying for damages themselves in the event that one of their employees gets hurt on the job. It might include coverage for things such as medical bills, paid leave, and even lawyer fees if the case were to go to court.

Make sure you have the appropriate paperwork to update your coverage for this when you hire a new employee.

Unemployment Insurance

Another thing you will need to consider as an employer is unemployment insurance. Governments require companies to contribute to this program to help fund employees who end up getting laid off.

There may come a time when your company either has to lay an employee off or fire them. If this happens, it can destabilize the entire world that they build around them. For some people, they may be left wondering how they are going to survive without a paycheck.

This is where unemployment comes in. It can provide some temporary relief for those people who are in between jobs.

What happens is unemployment will give that employee a certain percentage of the wages they had at your company before they got let go for whatever reason. This is typically about half of their average paycheck.

The tax that your company pays towards this helps fund this and allows employees to get the help they need during a tough time.

Health Insurance

This last part of the onboarding process depends on how large your company is. For companies that have more than a certain number of employees, they may be legally obligated to provide full-time employees with a health insurance plan.

What you may need to do as an HR representative is to provide documents for this plan on top of the other new hire documents that you have to give employees.

This lets an employee know what their exact coverage is for their health insurance plan. You can also collect their signatures and add them to your company's health insurance plan.

Depending on how many employees your company has, doing this right could potentially save your company money. Some plans are willing to give companies discounts for a bulk amount of employees.

Look into your company's specific plan for more information.

Get Help With Onboarding

These are some of the main documents you must give a new employee during the onboarding process. Some of the most essential forms here come from the federal level, including the W-4, W-9, and I-9 forms.

Then, you must consider things Missouri specifically requires, such as state income tax percentages and new hire reporting.

Are you looking to level up your onboarding? Take a tour of GoCo today to see how our all-in-one HR software can streamline your HR processes.

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