Employee or Independent Contractor?
Deciding whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor can be difficult. This is a recurring question whenever employers are determining how to treat payments for services. The IRS outlines three categories to help define the degree of control that an employer has and the independence that an individual has:
- Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
- Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
- Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
If it is still not clear as to how an individual should be classified, the IRS gives employers the option to file the Form SS-8. The IRS will then review the facts and circumstances and make an official determination on the individual’s working status.