AARP Live shares tips on how to protect yourself before and after a natural disaster. Watch at 10 p.m. ET.
by IRS, August 20, 2010
Editor’s note: Content provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Consult your financial or tax adviser regarding your individual situation.
As a small-business owner, you may hire people as independent contractors or as employees. There are rules that will help you determine how to classify the people you hire. This will affect how much you pay in taxes, whether you need to withhold from your workers' paychecks and what tax documents you need to file.
Here are seven things every business owner should know about hiring people as independent contractors versus hiring them as employees.
1. The IRS uses three characteristics to determine the relationship between businesses and workers:
2. If you have the right to control or direct not only what is to be done, but also how it is to be done, then your workers are most likely employees.
3. If you can direct or control only the result of the work done — and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result — then your workers are probably independent contractors.
4. Employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors can end up with substantial tax bills. Additionally, they can face penalties for failing to pay employment taxes and for failing to file required tax forms.
5. Workers can avoid higher tax bills and lost benefits if they know their proper status.
6. Both employers and workers can ask the IRS to make a determination on whether a specific individual is an independent contractor or an employee by filing a Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding, with the IRS.
7. You can learn more about the critical determination of a worker’s status as an independent contractor or employee at IRS.gov by selecting the Small Business link. Additional resources include IRS Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee, and Publication 1976, Do You Qualify for Relief under Section 530? These publications and Form SS-8 are available on the IRS website or by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676 (800-TAX-FORM).
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can print free coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.
Members save 25% on purchases of $200+ and get free basic lenses or 25% off lens upgrades.
Members save 10% on their check every day.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at