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If so, then how to verify a birthday and what if a contractor or employee lies about his/her birthday?

Sometimes a payroll software will automatically do the taxes, but certain payroll software only allow users >=18 years of age to use. However, I find that it's very easy to bypass that. Simply enter an older birthday. As long as the other information such as SSN and bank account number are correct, I don't think they'd have trouble connecting bank accounts and getting paid.

My concern is if that payroll software automatically generates the tax information with the wrong birthday, would I as the employer face any consequences?

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    If you were asking whether an employer needed your birthdate, that might be on topic, though you'd have to specify where and might have to specify the kind of job. But since you're asking from the business's point of view, it's offtopic here.
    – keshlam
    Aug 16, 2023 at 21:22
  • This is a question about business payroll software, for employers. It is off topic, so I'm voting to close. This becomes clear after reading both answers (which are good!) which allude to the legal aspects that must be observed by a business. Aug 17, 2023 at 14:52

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Let's assume for PF&M on-topic rules that you are asking if you must provide your birthdate to an employer for the employer's tax compliance when you are working as an employee or a contractor.

If you are a contractor (a non-employee), you must fill out a W-9 and submit it to the employer, and the employer provides a 1099 to you. Neither form has a space for date of birth, just name, address and taxpayer ID number.

If you are an employee, you must fill out a W-4 and submit it to the employer, and the employer provides a W-2 to you. Neither form has a space for date of birth, just name, address and social security number.

So in either case, the employer does not need date of birth for tax compliance.

However, all employers in the U.S. must positively identify every new employee in order to fill out an I-9 for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and retain it on file. Every form of acceptable identification document includes date of birth, and the employer must inspect the original government issued ID.

So although the employer doesn't need date of birth for tax purposes, they will need it for work authorization.

In addition, there are numerous federal and state laws governing minimum age for employment in certain industries and in certain job functions, so perhaps this has some bearing on the payroll company's request for date of birth. If you submit an industry code when you set up payroll, the software or the payroll company may alert you that a person is under-age for this industry.

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  • In the UK you have some tax benefits when you reach retirement age, so the employer needs to know your age to pay you the correct net salary. On the other hand, if you told them "under 65" then you wouldn't have these benefits, so that would be enough information.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 16, 2023 at 22:46
  • Ok, I see. For some reason, that payroll software only asks date of birth if the company type is individual or sole proprietor. Perhaps it's something to do with their ToS. I think other software like Gusto doesn't ask date of birth. So regardless, the IRS should never see independent contractors'' or employees' date of birth, right?
    – No Name
    Aug 16, 2023 at 22:59
  • @OneCuriousPerson Correct, the IRS would never get date of birth from an employer's tax compliance filings.
    – MTA
    Aug 16, 2023 at 23:21
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    @MTA - and the 401k plan will want the birthday to see if catch-up contributions are OK. Or if you are in a protected employment class (i.e. over 40).
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 17, 2023 at 12:15
  • @gnasher729 The question is tagged United States so UK practices aren't relevant. Aug 17, 2023 at 14:49
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From one of your comments on another answer.

So regardless, the IRS should never see independent contractors'' or employees' date of birth, right?

They will not see it on the 1099, because it isn't on the W-9 form. But the IRS will see the taxid number associated with the 1099. That number is linked to a real person, and the IRS does have your date of birth, because that was provided when EIN or SSN was issued.

Again it isn't on the W-2, because it isn't on the W-4. However...

If you are an employee the company needs to know your date of birth for a number of reasons: age linked benefits, retirement funds, workplace safety rules. They will have your date of birth from the I-9 form, and the documents you have to use to prove your right to work in the US.

Sometimes a payroll software will automatically do the taxes, but certain payroll software only allow users >=18 years of age to use.

It might be because when you use the software your are spending thousands of $'s of corporate money. If you are under the age of majority you might not be allowed to commit your employers funds.

There is no minimum age for the people getting paid, but they might have a policy regarding the age of the person authorizing the payroll expense.

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