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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Employee or Independent Contractor? New IRS Program to the Rescue

The issue:  Is a person that does work for you or your company an employee or an independent contractor?

If you classify the person incorrectly as an independent contractor, you may be liable for unpaid taxes.

According to the IRS:

The IRS has started a new program that will enable many employers to resolve past worker classification issues by voluntarily reclassifying their workers. This new program will allow employers the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit....

The new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is designed to increase tax compliance and reduce burden for employers by providing greater certainty for employers, workers and the government. Under the program, eligible employers can obtain substantial relief from federal payroll taxes they may have owed for the past, if they prospectively treat workers as employees. The VCSP is available to many businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government entities that currently erroneously treat their workers or a class or group of workers as nonemployees or independent contractors, and now want to correctly treat these workers as employees.

The requirements to qualify are set forth as follows:
  • Consistently have treated the workers in the past as nonemployees,
  • Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years
  • Not currently be under audit by the IRS, the Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers
If you have any questions regarding this program, please let me know.

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