New Hires

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the New Hire law?
Federal and state law require employers to report new hires and rehires within 20 calendar days from the date in which the employee starts earning wages. Information received from employers is entered into a statewide registry and then transmitted to the National Directory of New Hires.
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Who is exempt from this law?
Federal agencies that are classified in nature may choose not to report certain individuals performing intelligence or counter-intelligence functions, if reporting could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an investigation or intelligence mission. The Federal Parent Locate Service (FPLS) may request employment information for a specific noncustodial parent directly from these agencies, at a state's request.
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Are there penalties for employers who do not report new hires?
To be in compliance, employers must provide all required information within 20 calendar days of the employee's first day of work. State law provides a penalty of $25 for each employee an employer knowingly fails to report and a penalty of $500 for conspiring with an employee to fail to file a report or submit a false or incomplete report.
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What is the definition of an “employer” for Employer New Hire Reporting purposes?
The term “employer” means the person for whom an individual (the employee of such person) performs or performed any service, of whatever nature. Employer also includes any governmental entity and any labor organization. [42 USC § 653a(a)(2)(B)], [26 USC § 3401(d)]

At a minimum, in any case where an employer is required to give an employee a Form W–2 showing the amount of taxes withheld, the employer must meet the new hire reporting requirements.

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What is the definition of an “employee” for Employer New Hire Reporting purposes?
An employee for the purpose of new hire reporting is an individual who is an employee for purposes of federal income tax withholding from wages. [42 USC § 653a(a)(2)(A)], [26 USC § 3401(c)]
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My company has never reported new hires. What should we do?
Begin by reporting any new employees you’ve hired within the last 90 days. Continue by reporting any new hires or rehires you have within 20 days of their hire date.
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Should new hire information be reported on a person who has just been hired but who is going through training or is in his or her probationary period?
Yes. If a person has been hired and a legal employee/employer relationship exists, a report must be filed. The probationary nature of the employment does not negate the need to report.
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What is considered to be the “date of hire”?
The “date of hire” is considered to be the first day services are performed for wages by an individual.
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Must an employer report an employee who is being rehired or recalled from a layoff, or who is returning from a leave of absence?
If a returning employee is required to submit a W-4 form to the employer, the employer is required to furnish a new hire report to the State Directory of New Hires.
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Are temporary employment agencies, union halls, and placement services that refer individuals for work to third party employers required to report the employee as a “new hire”?
Yes, if a legal relationship exists between the employer and employee. If the agency, halls, etc., is paying wages to the individual, a new hire report must be submitted. The individual needs to be reported only once unless there is a break in service and a new Form W-4 is required to begin work. If your company simply refers individuals for employment and does not pay salaries or wages, new hire reports are not necessary because the employer who actually hires and pays the employee will be required to report the new hire information. [26 USC §§ 3401-3406]
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What about independent contractors and new hire reporting?
It’s important to understand each state’s laws with regards to new hire reporting. Texas recently defined “employee” for the purpose of new hire reporting to include individuals hired as independent contractors.
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I have no employees who pay child support. Why must I report them?
Federal and state law require employers to report all newly hired or rehired employees to the designated New Hire Reporting program, whether or not the employer believes that a given employees owes child support. This information is compared against the names of child support obligors and recipients of public benefits for the purpose of improving child support collections and detect fraud or abuse of public benefits programs.
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Why should the employer’s W-2 State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) be reported?
Employers are only required to report the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) is not required. However, TWC uses this information to cross match with its quarterly wage information.
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Why do we need to report the payroll address?
The majority of collections are received via income withholding. The correct payroll address ensures the income withholding order goes to the correct location.
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How do I submit a payroll address?
The OAG needs your FEIN address and the address for sending income withholding orders/notices. Submit changes to your payroll address via one of the following means:

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Are employers that reorganize and merge under a new Federal Employer Identification Number required to file new hire information on the employees acquired as a result of the merger under the new Federal Employer Identification Number?
No. The new Federal Employer Identification Number information is picked up when the employer makes its next quarterly wage report.
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May the parent company with subsidiary companies in multiple states report to a single state?
Yes, an employer with employees in two or more states may choose to designate one state to report all new hires. The Department of Health and Human Services must be notified in writing of the designated state. [42 USC § 653a(b)(1)(B)]
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Explain the term multistate employer.
Employers with employees working two or more states are considered to be multistate employers for new hire reporting purposes. Once an employer registers as a multistate employer, the employer may:

  • Designate one state to report all new hires electronically, not less than 12 days nor more than 16 days apart, or
  • Choose to report to each state individually, adhering to each state’s new hire requirements.

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What constitutes separate employer status for designation of a multistate employer? Can a company that “belongs to” another company with which they share a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) choose to report as a multistate employer even if the rest of the “family” of companies does not?
Companies within the same “family” of companies, which share the same Federal Employer Identification Number, must make a decision to report individually or together. Regardless of whether the company chooses to report all together or separately, the company must ensure that all new employees are reported and avoid duplication. In addition, the report made on any employee must be specific enough for the child support agency to identify where the employee is working to facilitate locating an individual.
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Can a multi-state employer designate more than one state in which to report? Can a company opt to report most new hires to one central location but continue to have some local offices report to individual states?
The answer is “no” to both questions.
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How can an employer obtain a history of new hire records submitted?
There are two ways to obtain a history. If records were submitted online employers may view the history online. The application has a feature entitled "View Today’s Activity" that displays all records entered on the current day. If more than eight hours have passed, an employer may request a 90-day history by selecting "View 90-day history." Employers must be prepared to provide the company name and FEIN.

If records were submitted manually, employers may request a 90-day history by sending an email to Be sure to include the company name and FEIN.

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Can I report the employee’s ITIN number on the Texas State New Hire Report?
No. Only a social security number (SSN) can be reported to the State Directory of New Hires. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 as the fourth digit (example 9XX-7X-XXXX). IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, an SSN from the Social Security Administration (SSA). ITINs are for federal tax reporting purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits and is not valid identification outside the tax system. IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for SSNs. Additional information on the use of ITINs should be directed to IRS and/or the SSA.
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How can one obtain more information about Employer New Hire reporting other than using the website?
Contact the OAG using any of the following methods:
  • Call: 1-800-850-6442, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST
  • Write:
    ENHR Operations Center
    P.O. Box 149224
    Austin, Texas 78714
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