Citing the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, the IRS has raised the standard mileage reimbursement rate for the final six months of 2008. From July 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008, the new rate for business mileage is 58.5 cents a mile, up from the 50.5-cent rate that took effect in January 2008.
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In connection with the new rate, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that “[g]iven the increase in [gas] prices, the IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the real cost of operating an automobile. We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers.”
Immigration Update: New I-9 Form, Plus Federal Contractors Must Use E-Verify
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of the Form I-9, which is used to verify eligibility to work in the United States. The new form has an expiration date of 06/30/09 in the upper right corner. It does not reflect any substantive changes, but it is now the only version the government will accept. Click here to access the new form on our website.
In other immigration news, President Bush recently issued Executive Order 12989 to require all federal contractors to use the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of employees who perform work on a government contract. E-Verify is the Internet-based system operated by the DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to electronically verify new hires’ eligibility to work in the United States. How it works is that after the employer and employee complete the Form I-9, the employer submits an inquiry through E-Verify, which then checks the I-9 information against DHS and SSA immigration databases.
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The Executive Order mandates that as a condition of each contract, the contractor must agree to use E-Verify to verify employment eligibility of: 1) all individuals hired during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States, and 2) all individuals the contractor assigns to perform work within the United States on the federal contract. The order is expected to take effect later this year, once implementing rules are approved. This is the first time that the federal government is mandating that private employers use E-Verify, although some states have required certain employers to use the system.
Employers with federal government contracts should determine which of their employees/worksites are affected by the new order and put procedures in place to ensure that E-Verify is part of the employment verification process. Click here to access E-Verify.
In Step with Immigration Laws
As the Department of Homeland Security continues its aggressive enforcement efforts against employers that hire unauthorized workers, it’s more important than ever to stay up on changes in immigration laws that affect your workplace.
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