Frequently Asked Questions - Wisconsin New Hire Reporting Center
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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Law

What is the new hire law?

Wisconsin Statutes 103.05, Administrative Code DWD 142 and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, 42 U.S.C. 653a, requires all employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees to a state directory within 20 days of their hire or re-hire date.

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Who must report?

All employers and/or labor organizations in the State of Wisconsin who have an FEIN.

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Who must be reported?

Employers are required to report the following employees:

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Is anyone exempt from this law?

No one is exempt from this law.

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Are labor unions and hiring halls required to report?

Labor unions and hiring halls must report their own employees; that is, individuals who work directly for the labor union or hiring hall. If the labor union or hiring shall simply refers individuals for employment, it does not need to file new hire reports for these actions. If a labor organization actually pays the individuals whom it refers (as opposed to having them paid by the person or entity to whom they have been referred), the labor organization would be considered the "employer" and subject to the new hire reporting requirements.

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Basics of New Hire Reporting

Why do we need new hire reporting?

New hire reporting speeds up the child support income withholding order process, expedites collection of child support from parents who change jobs frequently, and quickly locates alleged non-custodial parents to help in establishing paternity and child support orders. New hire reporting helps children receive the support they deserve. New hire reporting also saves taxpayers by preventing fraud in welfare, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance. Employers are a key partner in ensuring financial stability for many children and families and should take pride in their role.

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What information must I report?

In accordance with Federal legislation, the State of Wisconsin asks for the following information:

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How do I report?

There are a variety of ways to report new hires, including online reporting, electronic reporting and by mail or fax. Get more information on the convenient reporting options available.

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Where do I report new hires?

Electronic Reports - Utilizing our Web site's online reporting feature is a very popular option for employers. This feature provides printable confirmation of reports received, and is conveniently available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Employers can send new hire data files in a variety of ways, including transferring files through the Web site or through internet connection using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Employers can also mail reports directly to us on diskette. Learn more about electronic reporting.

Non-Electronic Reports - Paper new hire reports may either be faxed or mailed to the Wisconsin NewHire Reporting Center.

Mail reports to:

Wisconsin New Hire Reporting
P.O. Box 14431
Madison, WI 53708-0431

Fax reports to:

Toll-free: (800) 277-8075

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How often must I report?

Employers must report within 20 days of a new employee's hire date. Employers who submit reports magnetically or electronically shall submit the reports in two monthly transmissions not more than 12-16 days apart. There is no need to report if there are no new hires since the last report.

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How will the information be used?

Federal and State laws outline strict guidelines for the use of new hire reporting information. Wisconsin's child support computer system matches new hire information against open child support cases in order to locate non-custodial parents to establish paternity and child support orders, as well as enforce existing orders. Once these matches are completed, the new hire information is sent to the National Directory of New Hires and is utilized by Child Support Agencies nationwide.

New hire information can also be used by states to help detect and prevent fraudulent payments to recipients of unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and welfare benefits.

The use of this information provides financial support for Wisconsin's deserving families and works towards a reduction in welfare and unemployment insurance costs.

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I've never reported new hires, what do I do?

Begin by reporting any new employees you've hired within the last 180 days. Continue by reporting any new hires you have within 20 days of their hire date.

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Common Employer Questions

I am an employer with employees in more than one state. What special considerations, if any, need to be made for this?

New hire reporting is mandated by law in all 50 states so one of the main goals of new hire reporting legislation is to make it as easy as possible for employers to comply. For those employers who have employees in more than one state, we have two convenient options for reporting. View more details on multistate reporting.

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Is there an easier way to report other than submitting a New Hire Reporting Form?

We highly recommend reporting your new hires electronically, as there are multiple options for doing so. You can either report new hires using our convenient Web site, or you can transmit a data file created by your company's human resources or payroll software. Electronic reporting eliminates paperwork, increases the accuracy of the reports, allows faster processing, and can save on postage and other costs. Additionally, our Web site also provides printable confirmation of all new hires you report during a session. Electronic reporting can also qualify Multistate employers to report new hires directly to one state.

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What if I have questions about child support or income withholding?

The New Hire Reporting Center does not have access to specific child support information and does not have the ability to answer questions related to child support. Check out our Employer Resources page to find information on local, state, and federal child support agencies.

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Do I have to report if I do not hire anyone?

No. Reports are only required after an employee is hired.

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Are domestic employees (maid, nurse, gardener) required to be reported?

New hire reporting legislation requires all "employees" to be reported. Thus, an individual who is an employee for purposes of federal income tax withholding from wages is also an employee for new hire reporting purposes. If you need to determine if you should be paying federal income tax for your employees, please contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or visit them at www.irs.gov.

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I am an employer who has more than one address. Which one should I list?

You should list the address where you want income withholding orders sent. A street address is preferred, as long as mail can be sent there.

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I provide employee information on my Quarterly Wage Reports. Why must I also report the employee as a new hire?

New hire information from the Quarterly Wage Reports becomes available two to six months after the date of hire. When you report new hires immediately, there is a much better chance of locating the individual while still employed, and the required child support action can be taken at once. Furthermore, fraudulent unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and welfare benefit payments can be detected quickly.

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Do temporary agencies have to report their new hires for every assignment?

Temporary agencies are mandated to report their workers who sign a W-4 form and report to an assignment. Workers only need to be reported once, and they do not need to be reported each time they are placed with a new client. If the worker has a break in service of 60 consecutive days or more from your agency and a new W-4 form is required, then a new hire report would be necessary.

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Do I need to report an employee who worked for a couple of hours or days and then quit?

As long as an employee filled out a W-4 form, even if they only worked for a few hours, that employee must be reported. Although that employee is no longer with your company, useful information such as home address and work history can be obtained from their new hire report.

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Do I have to include my FEIN on line 10 of the W-4? The instructions say to include it only if I sent it to the IRS.

Yes, if you are sending in your report by W-4, you must include the employer name, address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) in blocks 8 and 10 of the W-4 form. When reporting new hires, if you have more than one FEIN, please make sure you use the same FEIN used to report your quarterly wage information. The W-4 form must also include the employee's date of birth and date of hire.

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If I take over a business, do I have to report all of the employees?

Not if these employees have previously been reported and if you as the new employer will continue to honor any Income Withholding Notices that are in effect. If you will not honor the previous withholding notices you must report all employees as new hires. Employers must report any newly hired employee who is hired after that date. If you are unsure if employees have been previously reported, we recommend reporting any employee hired within the last 180 days.

Employers can send new hire data files in a variety of ways, including transferring files through the Web site or through internet connection using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Employers can also mail reports directly to our New Hire Reporting Center on a diskette. Learn more about electronic reporting.

Non-Electronic Reports - Paper new hire reports may either be faxed or mailed to our New Hire Reporting Center.

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In addition to reporting new hires, do I need to report terminated employees as well?

No. Only new hires and re-hires are required to be reported to the New Hire Reporting Center. However, if the terminated employee had an Income Withholding Order for child support, the termination should be reported to the agency that issued the order.

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Can I send an outdated W-4?

Yes, but if you need new W-4 forms, please contact the Internal Revenue Service.

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I am an employer with more than one FEIN. Which do I use for the new hire report?

Use the same FEIN under which the employee's wages are reported.

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Are employers on Native American reservations and lands subject to the new hire reporting requirements?

No, unless the tribe has accepted the jurisdiction of the state for this purpose. There are several ways this can be accomplished. For example, a tribe can enter into an agreement with the state for the cooperative delivery of child support enforcement services, including reporting new hires to the State Directory of New Hires (SDNH). Under PRWORA, a tribe can operate its own IV-D system pursuant to section 455(f) of the Act.

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I am a multi-state employer with employees in more than two states. Can I report all my employees to one state outside of Wisconsin, except report Wisconsin employees to Wisconsin?

You must either report all employees to one state as long as you registered as a multistate employer, or report employees to the state in which they work.

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Do I need to report re-hired employees?

Yes, if the employees have gone 60 or more consecutive days without pay and return to work, they must be reported as a new hire. This includes teachers, seasonal workers, etc. Substitute teachers must be reported for the first day worked in each school year. Poll workers need to be reported only once.

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I'm not sure if I have reported one of our new employees. How can I find out the names of employees I have already reported?

If you report online your new hires online you may review your records using our 'view new hires' feature. Or you can contact our customer service team at 1-888-300-4473.

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Is it possible to submit a test file after registering to report electronically, to verify our file layout?

No, we ask that you only send production files to the New Hire Reporting Center. Please contact the reporting center at 1-888-300-4473 or contact@wi-newhire.com for more information or assistance in verifying your file layout.

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If I start sending reports using one method, do I always need to file my reports the same method?

No, you may choose the reporting method that works best for you. If you want to report a large volume of new hires, we do suggest you do so electronically. For a smaller volume of new hire reports we recommend reporting via the internet.

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What should I do if I make a mistake on the employee information and I've already submitted it?

You should contact our customer service team immediately at 1-888-300-4473. Due to the sensitivity of information being provided, we do not suggest sending an email.

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If an employee lives outside Wisconsin, but works in Wisconsin, to what state do I submit the New Hire report?

New Hire reports are submitted to the state in which the employee works. In this example, the New Hire report would go to Wisconsin. However, employers with employees working in more than one state have other reporting options. For more information please refer to our Multistate Employer Information page.

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How do I enter the employee's date of birth when it's a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to ask for their date of birth?

It is only a violation to discriminate against employees based on age and therefore would be unacceptable to ask for Date of Birth as part of the selection process. However, once you have hired the employee, it is appropriate to gather this information for reporting purposes.

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What is the definition of date of hire?

The date of hire is defined as the first day an employee performs services for pay.

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What if I still have more questions about new hire reporting?

Do not hesitate to call the Wisconsin New Hire Reporting toll-free at (888) 300-4473 with any questions regarding the new hire reporting process. Our help desk staff is available Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 4:00PM Central Time.

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P.O. Box 14431 Madison, WI 53708 | Phone (888) 300-4473 | Fax (800) 277-8075
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