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  • P.O. Box 750367
  • Memphis, TN 38175
  • (888) 715-2280
  • (615) 884-2828
  • (877) 505-4761

Frequently Asked Questions

Basics of New Hire Reporting
Q:  What is new hire reporting and what is done with the information?

A:  New hire reporting is a process by which you, a Tennessee employer, report information on your newly hired or rehired employees to the State of Tennessee New Hire Reporting program within 20 days of hire or re-hire. Tennessee's Department of Human Services (TDHS) will match your new hire reports against their child support records to locate parents, establish a child support order, or enforce an existing order. Then the TDHS transmits these new hire reports to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH). New Hire information is also used to detect and prevent fraud within other State agencies such as employment security, worker's compensation and UI. Other state programs can also conduct matches between themselves and the new hire database to prevent public assistance fraud.

This is not just a program for Tennessee employers however, all employers in every state are required by law to report their newly hired or re-hired employees to that state's new hire directory.

Q:  Why have a National Directory of New Hires?

A:  Many of the child support cases in Tennessee involve non-custodial parents who do not live in Tennessee, but their children do. By matching the new hire data with child support data at the national level, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) helps state agencies in locating non-custodial parents living in other states. When new hire information is received by TDHS from the OCSE on non-custodial parents working in other states, TDHS can take the steps necessary to establish paternity, establish a child support order or enforce existing orders.

Q:  Isn't this information currently available through quarterly wage reporting?

A:  Non-custodial parents have a tendency to change jobs frequently. Unfortunately, in those instances quarterly wage data is often outdated before TDHS receives the information. There can be as much as a six month lag time between the time the quarterly wage data is submitted and when it is available to the child support office. Often times what has happened by then is that the employee has quit working or has re-located and wage withholding cannot be started. With new hire reporting however, new hire data is available within a much shorter time frame (within days). This allows for the non-custodial parent to be located more quickly, which means that child support orders are established and enforced much faster.

Q:  How do employers benefit from new hire reporting?

A:  Most notably, prompt and thorough reporting of new hires will cause a reduction and prevention of fraudulent unemployment and workers' compensation payment. Timely submissions of new hire data will allow TDHS to match this data against its active unemployment claimant files and either stop payments or recover erroneous payments. Timely reporting of new hires will enable TDHS to locate non-custodial parents sooner and will decrease families' dependence on public assistance.

About the Law
Q:  How soon must I submit a report after hiring someone?

A:  Tennessee law §36-5-1101 to §36-5-1108 states that employers must report their newly hired or re-hired employees within twenty (20) days after they are hired. If employers are reporting electronically or magnetically, the employer must report by two (2) monthly transmissions if necessary. These transmissions must be made not less than twelve (12) nor more than sixteen (16) days apart.

Q:  What information must be reported and what form should I use to send in my new hire reports?

A:  Tennessee law §36-5-1101 to §36-5-1108 states that employers are required to submit the following mandatory information on their new hires: Employer Name, Employer Address, Employer FEIN, Employee Name, Employee Home Address, Employee Social Security Number and Date of Hire.

Additional information that employers can report on each new hire is: Date of Birth, State of Hire, Gender, Earned Income Tax Credit Available, Employee Left employment, Availability of Health Insurance and Payroll Address.

The Tennessee New Hire Reporting Program has several different methods for employers to use to report their new hires. These include: Internet (this is the preferred method); FTP (call Customer Service for details); Diskette; Magnetic Tape; Fax; Mail, or Phone.

Common Employer Questions
Q:  Where do I send my new hire information?

A:  Internet:; register your company and report on-line or via a file upload.

Mail: (for diskettes, magnetic tapes and cartridges, W-4's, lists and State Reporting form)

     Tennessee New Hire Reporting
     PO Box 281348
     Nashville, TN 37228

Fax: (for W-4's, lists, and State Reporting form)


Q:  How do I contact the Tennessee New Hire Reporting program?

A:  You may contact us via e-mail at:, or by phone at: 1-888-715-2280 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday.

Q:  How do I get access to the new hire reporting web site to report my new hires?

A:  You may register on-line for access to the Tennessee New Hire Reporting Internet site by clicking on "Register" on the Tennessee web-site. You will need to know the following information in order to register. Employer Federal Identification number (FEIN); Employer Name; Employer Address; E-mail address; Contact Name and Contact telephone number. You will also be required to set a password. Passwords must be at least 8 characters long and must contain 3 of the 4 character types: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters (~!@#$%^&*()_-+=).

Q:  Do I still need to mail W-4's if I report my new hires via the Internet?

A:  No, your obligation has been met. There is no reason to mail or fax a W-4 on your new hire if you have reported that information over the Internet.

Q:  What should I do if I've been in violation of this law and was not aware until now?

A:  Begin reporting your new hires immediately.

Q:  What is the definition of an employer?

A:  Federal legislation states that an "employer" for New Hire reporting purposes is the same as for federal income tax purposes (as defined by Section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) and includes any governmental entity or labor organization. At a minimum, in any case where an employer is required to give an individual a W-2 form showing the amount of taxes withheld, the employer must meet the New Hire reporting requirements.

Q:  Who must I report?

A:  All newly hired or re-hired employees who live or work in a state must be reported. If you are unsure whether an individual is an employee, consult U.S. Treasury regulation Section 31.3401(c )-1. A good rule of thumb is if the employee is required to fill out a W-4 form for you than you must report that employee to the Tennessee New Hire Reporting program.

Q:  What is the definition of a newly hired employee?

A:  Public law defines a newly hired employee as (i) an employee who has not previously been employed by the employer; (ii) or was previously employed by the employer but has been separated from such prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days.

Q:  What is the "date of hire" considered to be?

A:  The "date of hire" is considered to be the first day that services are performed for wages by any individual.

Q:  Must I report temporary or seasonal workers?

A:  Yes. Temporary and seasonal employees are one of the primary reasons why the law was implemented. These employees move frequently between jobs, making it difficult to collect child support if the state is not notified. You do not need to report temporary employees that you employ through a temporary employment agency. In these situations, it is the responsibility of the temporary agency to report the individual as a new hire.

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

A:  An easy rule of thumb to help you remember when to report a new hire: If the employee returning to work is required to complete a new W-4 form, than you as an employer must report the individual as a new hire. If, however, the returning employee had not been formally terminated or removed from the payroll records, there is no need to report that individual as a new hire.

Q:  Do I need to submit a new hire report for independent contractors and subcontractors performing services for me?

A:  You must first determine whether or not there is an existing employer/employee relationship. If the work being performed is based on a contract rather than an employer/employee relationship, under Federal law you are not required to report. In such circumstances, the contractor is responsible for reporting his/her employees.

Q:  As a temporary employment agency, must we report as a new hire each individual placed by our agency?

A:  If your agency is paying wages to the individual, you must submit a new hire report. The individual needs to be reported only once, unless there is a break in service from your agency and a new W-4 form is required. If your agency simply refers individuals for employment and does not pay salaries, 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.

Q:  We do not officially hire employees until after the three month probationary period has been completed, even though they are on the payroll. When do they count as new hires?

A:  The employee should be reported within 20 days of their first day of work, regardless of any probationary period.

Q:  Can you provide me with additional W-4 forms?

A:  If you would like copies of the W-4 form, you can call the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM, visit the IRS on the web at: or download W-4 from the IRS website (

Q:  I have no employees who pay child support. Why must I report them?

A:  Federal and State law require employers to report all newly hired or re-hired employees to the designated New Hire Reporting program, whether or not the employer believes that a given employee owes child support. We compare this information against the names of child support obligors and recipients of public benefits, to improve child support collections and detect fraud and abuse in public benefits programs.

Q:  Must I report part-time employees?

A:  Yes. Federal and State law require that any employee hired that must fill out a W-4 form upon hiring, must be reported. This is regardless of whether the employee is a Full-time or Part-time employee.

Q:  Is there a fine for not reporting new hire information.

A:  In Tennessee, failure to comply with the New Hire law could result in a $20.00 fine per incident for failure to report or up to a $400.00 fine if conspiracy to avoid reporting is determined.

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