Reporting Obligations

Who to Report

When to Report

How to Report

 

Electronic Reporting

Multistate and Out-of-State-Employers
 


Reporting Obligations

Is new hire reporting mandatory for every employer?

Yes. Federal law mandates that all employers, regardless of size or type of business, comply with their state's New Hire Reporting requirements. In Massachusetts, the new hire requirements apply to all employers regardless of size. The Massachusetts new hire reporting requirements can be found in Chapter 830 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, Section 62E.2.1

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Isn't the new hire information available through quarterly wage reporting?

No. Not all of the required new hire data elements are included in the quarterly wage data. By the time you submit your quarterly wage data, the information is often out of date (employees have left the job, moved, etc.). New hire reporting data must be made available within a significantly shorter time period. Because the data is more current, noncustodial parents can be located faster, allowing child support orders to be established and/or enforced more quickly.

NOTE: Starting with the 4th quarter 2009, responsibility for collecting wage reporting data has been transferred to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Employers, including employers who do not have Unemployment Tax obligations, must file their Quarterly Wage Reports via DUA's QUEST system beginning in January 2010. Visit www.mass.gov/uima for more information.

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What are the penalties imposed on employers for noncompliance with new hire reporting?

An employer may be subject to fines and penalties for failure to comply with new hire reporting. Massachusetts regulations impose the following penalties on employers or payors of income who do not comply:

(a) Up to $25 for each employee, independent contractor, or other recipient of periodic income for whom the employer, payor of income or insurance company fails to comply with the reporting requirement or about whom required information is not accurately reported; or

(b) $500 for each employee, independent contractor, or other recipient of periodic income, if the failure to comply with the reporting requirement is the result of a conspiracy between the employer, payor of income or insurance company and the employee, independent contractor or other recipient of periodic income not to provide the required report or to provide a false or incomplete report.

For more information, see M.G.L. 830 CMR 62E.2.1 Reporting of New Hires or go to the Massachusetts New Hire page.

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Who to Report

Who must be reported?

Massachusetts regulation ( 830 CMR 62E.2.1: Reporting of New Hires) requires employers or payors of income that employ 25 or more employees or independent contractors to report the information electronically, within 14 days of hire. Employers must report:

  • All newly hired employees who work in Massachusetts;
  • Individuals who are returning to the payroll after a lapse in pay of thirty calendar days or more; and/or
  • All newly hired independent contractors to whom you anticipate paying $600 or more over the course of the year.

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Are we obligated to report independent contractors?

Yes. Any business or government entity that is required to file a federal Form 1099-MISC for services received from an independent contractor is required to report specific independent contractor information to MA.

This information will be used to locate parents who are delinquent in their child support obligations.

Independent Contractor: A person is an independent contractor if he or she is:

  • 18 years of age or older and works for an individual employer;
  • A consultant or vendor paid $600 or more and for whom a 1099 is used to report income; and/or liable for his or her own taxes.
    • Note: Individuals who enter into a consumer transaction with an independent contractor are not required to report the new hire, unless the individual is regularly engaged in a business or trade relating to the transaction.

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Are labor unions and hiring halls required to report?

Yes. 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 hall 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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Are day labor employees reportable as new hires?

Yes. If you own or operate a day laborer service, as an employer, you are required to report individuals you hire on a daily basis because an employer/employee relationship exists.

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

No, not if these employees have previously been reported. 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 quarter.

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What if the new hire is a minor? Do I still need to report him or her?

Yes. You must report every new hire regardless of the individual's age.

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Do I need to report terminated employees as well?

No, not all terminations.
You need only report those terminated employees who had an active Income Withholding Order for child support to Massachusetts. The Employee Status Change feature ( Employee Status Change selection can be found within the Report New Hire option) allows users to report this information online. If your company is currently withholding a Massachusetts child support amount for an individual, you can report employment status changes, such as workers' compensation claim, retires, terminations, layoff, etc.

NOTE: Employees with Out of State Child Support obligations need to be reported to the appropriate state.

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When to Report

How much time do I have to report our new hire information?

All new hire reports must be submitted within 14 days of the effective date of employment (usually the individual's first day on the job.) Rehires and reinstatement (seasonal workers, teachers, off payroll, etc.) must be submitted if an employee or independent contractor is rehired after a lapse in pay of 30 calendar days or more.

NOTE: Submitting quarterly wage information does not satisfy the obligation to submit timely new hire reports.

NOTE: Starting with the 4th quarter 2009, responsibility for collecting wage reporting data has been transferred to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Employers, including employers who do not have Unemployment Tax obligations, must file their Quarterly Wage Reports via DUA's QUEST system beginning in January 2010. Visit www.mass.gov/uima for more information.

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How far back do I need to report new hire information if this is my first time reporting?

Report all employees hired or rehired since your last quarterly report to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Then, continue to report each new or rehired employee within 14 days of hire from this point forward.

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Am I required to report seasonal employees every year they come back to work even though they have been with us for years?

Yes. All rehired employees must be submitted within 14 days of the individual's first day back on the job.

Rehires and reinstatements (seasonal workers, teachers, off payroll, etc.) must be submitted if the employees are rehired after a lapse in employment of 30 calendar days or more.

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Are Massachusetts cities and towns required to report teachers, coaches, etc. who return to work in September every year?

Yes. Teachers, coaches, etc. are to be reported following the outline below:

  • Teachers on a 9 month vs. 12 month pay schedule
    • Teachers on a 9 month pay schedule must be reported when they are initially hired and need to be reported again when they return following termination, separation, a layoff, or if they are returning to work following a requested leave of absence without pay greater than 30 days.
    • Teachers on a 12 month pay schedule must be reported when they are initially hired and need to be reported again ONLY when they return following termination, separation, a layoff, or if they are returning to work following a requested leave of absence without pay greater than 30 days.
  • Substitute Teachers - Must be reported when initially hired. They must be reported again if the employee is rehired following termination, a layoff, a separation, or a requested leave of absence without pay greater than 30 days.

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If I lay off and then rehire an employee, do I need to submit the employee as a new hire report?

Yes. The law requires the reporting of all employees rehired following a layoff. The effective date of employment should be reported as the date the rehired employee's work commences.

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Must I report employees returning from maternity, family, or other leave of absence?

Yes, provided the leave of absence resulted in a lapse in pay of 30 days or more. Any time an employer reinstates an employee after a lapse in pay of 30 days or more - for any reason - the employer must submit a new hire report. If the employee continues to be paid while away from the job, the employer need not submit a report when the employee returns to work.

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We do not officially hire employees until after our three month probationary period has been completed, even though they are on the payroll. When do they need to be reported as new hires?

Employers are required to report all new hires within 14 days of their effective date of employment (i.e., first day of work) regardless of any probationary period.

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We are a temporary staffing agency/company. Are we required to report an employee as a new hire every time the employee accepts an assignment?

Temporary agencies are responsible for reporting all employees when they are initially hired. They do not need to be re-reported each time they report to a new client. They would need to be reported again when they return to work following a lapse in pay of 30 days due to termination, separation, layoff, or a requested leave of absence without pay.

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Should we report new hires that quit before the reporting deadline?

Yes. Because an employer/employee relationship existed and wages were earned, you must submit a new hire report. Even though the employment period was short, the reported information may be the key to locating a delinquent noncustodial parent.

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When an employee files a workers' compensation claim or retires, and we are withholding child support payments for that employee, are we required to file a report on the change?

Yes. If your company is currently withholding child support for an individual, and sending the child support to DOR, you can report employment status changes: layoffs, terminations, resignations, retirements, leaves of absence and workers' compensation claims via your WebFile for Business (WFB) account. This Employee Status Change reporting option can be found under the Reporting New Hire menu option.

NOTE: If you have employees for whom you withhold child support and send it to another state, you must report status changes to that state.

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How to Report

What information must I submit to report our new hires?
 

  • The company's federal employer identification number (FEIN), legal name, and payroll address;
  • The new hire's Social Security number, full name, mailing address, work status (employee or independent contractor); and
  • The effective date of employment or reinstatement.

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What is the "effective date of employment"?

The effective date of employment is the first day in which that person performs services for pay - i.e., the first day of work. This is also the date the employer recognizes as the first day for income tax withholding.

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What address should be reported as the "employer address"?

If the employee's work site address is different from the corporate payroll address, report the corporate payroll address. The address where you want income withholding orders sent should be used. A street address is preferred, as long as you can receive mail there.

The payroll address is used for sending an income-withholding order. If you can only provide one address, report the address where you want an income-withholding order to be sent.

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How do I report our new hire information to Massachusetts ?

You may choose one of the following convenient reporting methods:

Online New Hire Reporting - The fastest, most accurate and economical method! Eliminates the submission of paper reports all together.

  • All employers who employ 25 or more employees throughout the year are required by law to report their new hire information via our secure new hire site.
  • All employers, payroll companies, CPAs, etc. are encouraged to register to use the site regardless of the number of employees you may have.
  • For more information and to register to use the secure site, go to the Massachusetts New Hire Reporting page.

New Hire Reporting Form - Form NHR pdf format of New Hire Reporting Form : The Massachusetts New Hire Reporting form can be used to report individual employees and independent contractors. NOTE: W4 forms are no longer an acceptable means to report new hire information to Massachusetts. This paper reporting option is ONLY available to those employers or reporters of income who report for less than 25 employees.

Completed NHR forms may be faxed to 617-376-3262, or they can be mailed to:
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 55141 Boston, MA 02205 -5141.

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May an employer submit a new hire report without using an employee's Social Security number?

No. The Social Security number (SSN) is a required data element in the new hire report.

Including a SSN in a new hire report is important for a number of reasons. Before state new hire records are submitted to the National Directory of New Hires, the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifies the name and SSN combination provided to the State Directory of New Hires with the SSA master file of correct Social Security numbers. If the combination submitted does not correspond to the SSA file, the new hire report is not entered into the National Directory of New Hires.

Correct SSN data is also important because new hire records are used for cross matching with outstanding child support cases and with unemployment insurance claims. These cross-matches are performed using the SSN as a key field.

Therefore, it is critical that you use only a valid SSN. Do not use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or Resident Alien ("green card") number in place of the SSN.

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How can I ensure that the Social Security Number (SSN) and employee name match?

Ask to see your employee's Social Security card and enter the SSN and the employee's full name exactly as they appear on the card. For example, do not enter "Bob" on the new hire report if his card reads "Robert."
If your employee has changed his or her name (for example, from maiden to married) and has not notified the Social Security Administration (SSA), ask the employee to call the SSA at (800) 772-1213, or go to the US Social Security Administration webpage to locate the local office in your area.

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

Resubmit the employee again assuring the new submission contains the correct information. We will replace the first entry with the new entry when we process the file.

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Who can I call or email if I need technical assistance?

For general new hire assistance / questions please email us at pdustaff@dor.state.ma.us

For technical assistance / questions please contact Robert Marotta, New Hire Program Manager, at 617-887-7607.

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Electronic Reporting

We employ at least 25 employees. Do I have to report my new hire information electronically?

Yes. Employers or payors of income that employ 25 or more employees or independent contractors in the aggregate must report the information electronically, within 14 calendar days from the effective date of employment. Massachusetts encourages ALL employers - regardless of the number of employees - to report new hire information electronically.

Example: XYZ Corporation has 10 permanent employees and has engaged the services of 15 independent contractors. Because XYZ Corporation employs 25 individuals, it must report new hires electronically.

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Are Massachusetts cities and towns required to file their new hire information electronically?

Yes. All Massachusetts cities and towns are required to report their new hire information electronically. Cities and towns that use payroll service providers must ensure that their new hire information is transmitted electronically to the Department of Revenue via the Massachusetts New Hire Reporting system.

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I am a registered Massachusetts WebFile for Business user. Can I submit multiple new hire records in a file, or am I limited to submitting our new hire information individually?

Yes. Once you are a registered Massachusetts WebFile for Business user, you can submit numerous new hire reports using the batch filing method.

Individual Reporting: This method allows you to submit from one to many new employees by the each. When you are done reporting, we provide you with a confirmation of receipt page that you can print for your records.

Batch File Reporting: Batch filing is the easiest and fastest way to report multiple new hire reports.

Properly formatted text files are quickly uploaded into our site. When you are done, we provide you with a confirmation of receipt page that you can print for your records.

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If I choose to report our new hire information electronically, should I follow up with paper?

No. If you report electronically, or via fax, there is no need to also send a paper copy of the New Hire Report.

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Are there different reporting timeframes for employers who submit their new hire reports electronically?

No, there is no difference in timeframes. Employers are required to report their new hires within 14 days of the employee's effective date of employment, regardless of whether the employer files electronically or by paper.

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Multi and Out-of-State Employees

My company operates in more than one state, including Massachusetts. Can I choose to report all of our new hire information to Massachusetts?

Employers, who have employees and/or independent contractors in Massachusetts, and one or more other states, may send all reports of new employees or independent contractors to DOR, rather than reporting to two or more states.

Federal law requires all states to administer employee-reporting programs. Employers that have employees and/or independent contractors in two or more states and report via the internet may report all new employees or independent contractors to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, rather than reporting to two or more different states.

  • Multistate employers who choose to report to Massachusetts must report their new hire information electronically via our online new hire site.
  • You are required to register your company with the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE).
    • Multistate employers can easily register their company and their subsidiaries online by visiting the OCSE website and completing the online form.

NOTE: Once registered, multistate employers with multiple FEINs can register every FEIN and company name by selecting the "Enter Subsidiaries" button provided on the OCSE site.

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I am an out of state (non-Massachusetts) employer who has hired an independent contractor living in MA for a short-term job we have contracted to do in MA. Where am I required to report the new hire information (independent contractor information) - to the state in which I am based, or to Massachusetts?

If your company operates in only one state other than Massachusetts, and you hire someone in Massachusetts, then you are obligated to follow the new hire reporting requirements of the state in which you operate. In this instance you are required to report the new hire or independent contractor information ONLY to the state in which you do your primary business.

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