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Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation

Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation

Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation on Form 1099-MISC for Nonemployee Compensation to report payments for services performed for your business.

It is critical that business owners correctly determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors.

Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

Select the Scenario that Applies to You:

 I am an independent contractor or in business for myself

If you are a business owner or contractor who provides services to other businesses, then you are generally considered self-employed. For more information on your tax obligations if you are self-employed (an independent contractor), see our Self-Employed Tax Center.

  • I hire or contract with individuals to provide services to my business

If you are a business owner hiring or contracting with other individuals to provide services, you must determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors. Follow the rest of this page to find out more about this topic and what your responsibilities are.

Determining Whether the Individuals Providing Services are Employees or Independent Contractors and how Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation.

Before you can determine how to do Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation, the treat payments you make for services, you must first know the business relationship that exists between you and the person performing the services. The person performing the services maybe –

In determining whether the person providing service is an employee or an independent contractor, all information that provides evidence of the degree of control and independence must be considered when Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation.

Common-Law Rules

 Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:

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 the 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?

Businesses must weigh all these factors when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor and Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation. Some factors may indicate that the worker is an employee, while other factors indicate that the worker is an independent contractor. There is no “magic” or set a number of factors that “makes” the worker an employee or an independent contractor, and no one factor stands alone in making this determination. Also, factors that are relevant in one situation may not be relevant in another.

The keys are to look at the entire relationship, consider the degree or extent of the right to direct and control, and finally, to document each of the factors used in coming up with the determination.

Form SS-8

If, after reviewing the three categories of evidence, it is still unclear whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding PDF can be filed with the IRS. The form may be filed by either the business or the worker. The IRS will review the facts and circumstances and officially determine the worker’s status.

Be aware that it can take at least six months to get a determination on Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation, but a business that continually hires the same types of workers to perform particular services may want to consider filing the Form SS-8 PDF.

Employment Tax Obligations

Once a determination is made (whether by the business or by the IRS), the next step is filing the appropriate forms and paying the associated taxes.

  • Forms and associated taxes for independent contractors
  • Forms and associated taxes for employees

Employment Tax Guidelines

There are specific employment tax guidelines that must be followed for certain industries.

  • Employment Tax Guidelines: Classifying Certain Van Operators in the Moving Industry PDF
  • Employment Tax Procedures: Classification of Workers within the Limousine Industry 

Misclassification of Employees

Consequences of Treating an Employee as an Independent Contractor and Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation, If you classify an employee as an independent contractor and you have no reasonable basis for doing so, you may be held liable for employment taxes for that worker (the relief provisions, discussed below, will not apply). See Internal Revenue Code section 3509 for more information.

Relief Provisions

If you have a reasonable basis for not treating a worker as an employee, you may be relieved from having to pay employment taxes for that worker. To get this relief, you must file all required federal information returns on a basis consistent with your treatment of the worker. You (or your predecessor) must not have treated any worker holding a substantially similar position as an employee for any period beginning after 1977. See Publication 1976, Section 530 Employment Tax Relief Requirements PDF for more information.

Misclassified Workers Can File Social Security Tax Form

 Workers who believe they have been improperly classified and Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation by an employer can use Form 8919, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages IF to figure and report the employee’s share of uncollected Social Security and Medicare taxes due on their compensation.

Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

 Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation and The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is an optional program that provides taxpayers with an opportunity to reclassify their workers as employees for future tax periods for employment tax purposes with partial relief from federal employment taxes for eligible taxpayers that agree to prospectively treat their workers (or a class or group of workers) as employees. To participate in this voluntary program, the taxpayer must meet certain eligibility requirements, apply to participate in the VCSP by filing Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, and enter into a closing agreement with the IRS.

Start with consulting with your accountant.

Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation

Reporting Independent Contractors Compensation on Form 1099-MISC for Nonemployee Compensation to report payments for services performed for your business.
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