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Independent contractors part 4: The IRS view

Knowing that life’s only two certainties are death and taxes, let’s turn our attention to how the IRS determines independent contractor status. Previously, the IRS used to apply a 20-factor test to determine whether or not an individual could be classified as an independent contractor. A number of years ago they moved to what they call a “common-law” test that focuses on the degree of control the business exercises in achieving its purposes versus the degree of independence the worker has to actually perform the tasks themselves.

As described in IRS Publication 15-A, the IRS will closely examine each of the following three areas:  “behavioral control, financial control, and the type of relationship of the parties.” Let’s take a look at each.

Looking for summer help from minors? Consider the legal limitations

Vaccines are here, government shut-downs are lifted, and some people are eager to get out of the house! Businesses may be flooded this summer with customers and visitors needing to be entertained, waited on, or serviced. And as summers go, teens are ready to ditch the screens (or classrooms if they were lucky) and hit the job hunt. So, if you are considering hiring one of these enterprising teenagers, it’s important to be aware of the special laws that govern the employment of minors.

Independent contractors part 2: Workers’ compensation

As I mentioned in the previous post, the various regulatory agencies have stated their keen interest in rooting out misclassified independent contractors. In the context of work comp, there are two likely scenarios that could uncover a misclassification — a routine insurance carrier audit or a work-related injury suffered by an “independent contractor”. Since insurance companies regularly conduct audits for their clients, this article will focus an audit triggered by an independent contractor getting injured.