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Because of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all U.S. employers must complete and retain Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification,” (Exhibit 7-D) for each employee hired, including a minister of religion—ordained or commissioned, even if the employer is absolutely certain the employee is a U.S. citizen. Churches and schools are not exempt from this Act. To understand the Act and complete the form, the church should obtain Form M-274, the “Handbook for Employers” from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. By phone, call 800-870-3676; by internet, go touscis.gov. Form I-9 contains two parts: (1) employee information and verification, and (2) employer review and verification. The second part requires that the employer examine original documents of the employee. These documents include in part: a United States passport, a state-issued driver’s license, a U.S. military card, Social Security number card, or birth certificate. The form must be retained by the employer for at least three years after hiring or one year after the date of employee termination, whichever is later. Note: Payments to non-U.S. citizens can besubject to an entirely different set of reportingand withholding rules that make up a tax systemcompletely separate from the familiar U.S. TaxSystem. Failing to report or withhold correctly, maycost you severely in penalties. In determining how to tax any non-U.S. citizen you must first decide whether the recipient is classified as a U.S. “resident” alien or a “nonresident” alien. For more information about the classification, reporting and withholding rules applicable to nonresident aliens, obtain Publication 515 from IRS.

 

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