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New Hire Paperwork and Compliance for Vermont

A complete guide to new hire onboarding paperwork in Vermont, along with new hire reporting requirements and best practices.

Anna Coucke

by Anna Coucke - May 24th, 2024

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You've found the perfect candidate to join your Vermont-based company. Now comes the crucial step of onboarding your new hire with the necessary paperwork. While it might seem complex, understanding the requirements and following best practices will ensure a smooth transition for both you and your new employee.

This guide delves into the essential new hire paperwork specific to Vermont, focusing on federal and state-specific forms. We'll explore the I-9, W-4, Vermont tax withholding, and New Hire Reporting process, along with valuable tips for streamlining the onboarding experience.

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Federal Requirements: Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)

The I-9 form is a mandatory document for all employers in the United States, including those in Vermont. It verifies your new hire's eligibility to work legally within the country. The form has two sections:

  • Section 1: Your new employee completes this section, providing document choices (typically a state ID like a driver's license and a Social Security card) to prove their identity and employment authorization.

  • Section 2: Within three business days of your new hire's first day of work, the employer must verify the documents presented in Section 1. Ensure the documents are genuine and from the list of acceptable options listed on the I-9 form itself.

Here are some key points to remember about the I-9:

  • You cannot require your employee to complete the I-9 before their first day of work.

  • You must retain the completed I-9 form for three years after the hire date or one year after employment ends, whichever is later. You may be required to present the form in the case of an inspection by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website offers a wealth of information on the I-9 form, including a downloadable version and a helpful online assistant tool on their website.

Federal Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4)

The W-4 form helps determine the amount of federal income tax withheld from your employee's paycheck. The information provided by your new hire on the W-4 dictates the number of withholding allowances they claim, ultimately affecting the amount of federal tax withheld.

The W-4 form is a federal requirement and should be completed by all new hires. While you cannot advise your employees on how to complete the W-4, you can provide them with resources from the IRS for guidance.

State of Vermont Withholding Tax Form

In addition to federal income tax withholding, Vermont also has its own state income tax that needs to be withheld from employee paychecks. Vermont uses a separate form for state withholding: the Vermont Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, also known as Form VT-W-4. This form allows your new hire to claim withholding allowances for Vermont state income tax.

Where to Find the Vermont Withholding Tax Form (VT-W-4)

The Vermont Department of Taxes (VDT) provides the VT-W-4 form on its website. This way, you can download the form electronically and have it readily available for your new hires.

Completing the Vermont Withholding Tax Form (VT-W-4):

Similar to the federal W-4, your new hire will complete the VT-W-4, indicating their filing status and the number of withholding allowances they wish to claim for Vermont state income tax. It's important to retain the completed VT-W-4 form along with the federal W-4 for your records.

New Hire Reporting in Vermont

Vermont law mandates that employers report all new hires and rehires within 10 days of their start date. This reporting helps the state track child support obligations and enforce other important programs. There are two ways to submit the New Hire Report:

Online: This is the most convenient method. Visit the Vermont Department of Labor website to access the online reporting system.

Mail: You can also mail a completed New Hire Reporting form to the designated address provided by the Vermont Department of Labor.

How to Complete the Vermont New Hire Reporting Form

The form has several sections:

  • Employer Information: Fill in your business details, including your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

  • Employee Information: Collect your new hire's Social Security number, date of hire, name, and address.

  • Additional Information: This section may include details like your employee's date of birth and middle name.

Best Practices for Vermont New Hire Paperwork

While navigating new hire paperwork can feel like a hurdle, following these best practices will ensure a smooth and efficient onboarding process for both you and your new employee in Vermont:

  • Preparation is Key: Gather all the necessary forms beforehand, including the federal I-9, W-4, Vermont VT-W-4, and the Vermont New Hire Reporting form. Having them readily available on your new hire's first day reduces stress and streamlines the process.

  • Clear Communication: Briefly explain the purpose of each form and answer any questions your new hire may have regarding the paperwork. Transparency fosters trust and helps your new employee feel comfortable during onboarding.

  • Confidentiality Matters: Employee information is confidential. Implement procedures to safeguard all employee data collected during the onboarding process. Restrict access to sensitive data and ensure proper disposal of outdated paperwork.

  • Stay Updated: Federal and state regulations can change. Regularly check for updates on the I-9, W-4, VT-W-4, and New Hire Reporting requirements to ensure compliance. Utilize resources from the USCIS, IRS, and Vermont Department of Labor websites for the latest information.

Additional New Hire Paperwork Considerations

Beyond the core federal and state requirements, some employers in Vermont may need to provide additional new hire paperwork specific to their industry or company policies. These could include:

  • Benefit Enrollment Forms: If your company offers health insurance, retirement plans, or other benefits, your new hire may need to complete enrollment forms to participate.

  • Direct Deposit Authorization Forms: Many businesses offer direct deposit for employee paychecks. If your new hire chooses direct deposit, they will need to complete an authorization form with their bank account information.

  • Company Handbook Acknowledgements: Some companies have employee handbooks outlining policies, procedures, and expectations. A signed acknowledgment form from your new hire confirms they have received and reviewed the handbook.

How GoCo Supports New Hire Onboarding in Vermont

For businesses looking to streamline their onboarding process, a modern, all-in-one HR software solution empowers employers to be confident in their hiring and onboarding compliance by keeping everything organized and automating mundane tasks.

GoCo simplifies state-specific hiring in Vermont with updates to reflect current and evolving regulations for paperwork, reporting, and other legal requirements. Plus, our user-friendly onboarding software makes the entire experience simple for both employers and new hires.

Want to see it for yourself? Take a free tour of GoCo today and see how we can transform your onboarding and other HR processes — including performance management, time tracking, and much more!

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