According to the Department of Homeland Security, I-9 forms are only required for employees, not unpaid interns. When taking on an unpaid intern, however, we urge churches to take extra care. The US Department of Labor has clear guidelines as to what makes an unpaid intern, and if all conditions are not met, the intern must be considered an employee and paid at least minimum wage plus overtime as well as complete an I-9 form. The conditions that must be met to properly classify a worker as an unpaid intern are as follows: 1. The training the intern receives is similar to what one learns in a vocational school or academic institution; 2. The training is for the benefit of the intern; 3. The intern does not displace regular employees, rather the intern works under their close supervision; 4. The employer derives no immediate advantage from the work of the intern and on occasion business operations may actually be impeded; 5. The intern is not promised a job at the end of the training; and 6. The employer and intern both understand the intern is not entitled to wages for the training period. So long as all of these conditions are met, there is no need to complete the I-9 form for the unpaid intern. Enroll in the Church HR Support Center for more great HR resources. Article Courtesy of HR Support Center. Legal Disclaimer: The HR Support Center is not engaged in the practice of law. This response should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The Company can in no way be held liable for any actions taken as a result of this correspondence.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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