Retention and storage
I-9 forms must be kept on file and made available if a government agency requests access. While it's not a requirement, you
can make a photocopy of the documentation supplied by the employee. If you do obtain photocopies, make sure you're consistent
in photocopying the documents for all employees. Retain these copies in the same location as the employee's I-9 form. It's
acceptable to retain employee I-9 forms in either paper or electronic format. Whatever method you choose, you are responsible
to do the following:
How long to keep an I-9 form
> Provide an index of the information contained in the file.
> Control access and maintain detection of any unauthorized changes to the documents.
> Periodically check that the files are complete and in compliance.
> Ensure that the documents can be reproduced legibly if needed.
While you don't need to file I-9 forms with any government agency, keep in mind that the government might request the forms
for review. If an agency does ask to see your I-9 forms, you must present them within three days of the request. Penalties
for noncompliance with the laws can range from $110 to $1,100 for each employee whose eligibility has not been properly verified.
3 steps to ensure I-9 compliance
New I-9 forms
As of May 8, all employers are required to use the new I-9 form for every new hire. Check the lower lefthand corner of your
form to identify the revision date and ensure compliance with the new protocol. Forms that are already on file for current
employees do not need to be redone; however, you must continue to be aware of any expiring documentation that needs to be
updated—use the new I-9 form when you perform the update. For additional information or to access the new I-9 form and instructions,
Alicia Foss is a talent management and HR consultant for Marsha L. Heinke, CPA. Dr. Marsha Heinke offers tax, accounting and
consulting services for veterinary practices.