Real Small Business
One of biggest impediments to small business growth is the difficulty of classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. This is essentially a tax issue.
An independent contractor -- someone who does work for your company but is not a full employee -- is responsible for paying his/her own taxes. If that person were classified as an employee, you would be responsible for taxes. But the IRS has a long list of qualifications a worker must meet to be classified as an independent contractor, and often business owners and the IRS disagree about who qualifies.
The IRS qualifications are listed here, along with some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of your workers qualifying as independent contractors.
The issue of control is central to the IRS' independent contractor evaluation. If you control how a worker completes a task for you, the IRS often regards your relationship with a worker as employer-employee. In order for someone to qualify as an independent contractor, the following conditions must exist:
Some states have rules regarding independent contractors so check with your state's employment office before hiring. In addition, certain workers are automatically classified as employees, regardless of their work arrangement with you. Workers in this category include: full-time salespeople who sell goods for resale; full-time life insurance agents working mainly for one company; at-home workers who are supplied with material and given work performance specifications; and food and laundry delivery drivers.
To increase your chances of convincing the IRS that a worker is in fact an independent contractor, take the following steps:
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Small Business Guide
- Starting Up Your Business
- Structuring The Business
- Creating a Business Plan
- Your Company's Public Relations
- Effective Competitive Analysis
- Managing Purchasing to Maximize Cash Flow
- Bidding Basics
- Hiring Staff
- Small Business Insurance
- Small Business Resources
- Vacations and Taking Time Off
- Preparing for Tax Season
- Cash Flow
- Your Company's Credit
- Getting Funding
- Employee Compensation