Fact #: An Ein Or Paperwork Stating That You Are Performing Services As An Llc Or Other Business Entity Does Not Make You An Independent Contractor
Having your own EIN or paperwork stating that you are performing services as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or other type of business does not by itself make you an independent contractor. This is particularly true if your employer requires you to file business paperwork and obtain a business name to get the job or to receive payment for your services. You are an employee if your work falls within a laws definition of employment, regardless of how your relationship is characterized on paper. Under the FLSA, FMLA, and MSPA, how you or the employer characterizes your relationship is irrelevant to determining whether you are an employee what matters is whether the reality of the situation indicates that you are economically dependent on the employer or in business for yourself . For federal tax purposes, how you and the employer characterize the relationship is only one fact considered among many in determining whether the employer has the right to control how you do your work.
To better understand how different laws determine whether you are an employee and the benefits and protections that these laws provide to employees or what they require of employers, please see Myth #1.
Greater Control Over Your Taxes
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying your self-employment and income tax. You will have to keep track of all your business income and expenses to make accurate quarterly estimated tax payments.
All this means is that you have more control over your taxes, unlike wage employees who rely on employer tax withholding.
Independent contractors can take advantage of several legal tax reduction measures to reduce their tax obligation. For example, by contributing more to a retirement savings plan, an independent contractor can reduce what they pay for income and self-employment tax .
Additionally, an independent contractor is entitled to various tax deductions that can lower the tax bill further. These deductible expenses include office supplies, business insurance payments, business travel and home office expenses.
What Paperwork Is Needed For A 1099 Employee
When tax season rolls around, a business which has hired independent contractors needs to fill out specific paperwork. In past years, employers filled out a 1099MISC form that covered various sources of miscellaneous income. However, the rise of the gig-economy and freelance work has encouraged the IRS to create a new form solely for independent contractors, the 1099-NEC.
Employers must first get personal identifying information from their independent contractor including their address and tax identification number. Using this information, the employer must fill out the 1099-NEC form for any independent contractor that has been paid $600 or more throughout the year. This form is then reported to the IRS and a copy is sent to the independent contractor to use during their own tax preparation.
If you arent sure if an individual is an independent contractor, you can file an SS-8 form with the IRS before tax season begins. The SS-8 form requests specific information about the nature of the working relationship so that the IRS can make a definitive decision on the status of an employee before tax season. This tool protects a company from potential misclassification penalties and is valuable in potentially ambiguous situations.
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When Are Verbal Agreements Not Enforceable
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
- The sale of real estate or vehicles
- Real estate leases lasting longer than one year.
- Property transfer following the death of the owner.
- The case of a party agreeing to pay debt for someone else.
- Any contract that requires more than a year to fulfil.
- A contract involving and exceeding a specified amount of money .
Typically, a court of law won’t enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn’t favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it’s always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Benefits Of Being A 1099 Employee
As the gig economy grows and new technologies that make remote working simpler and more efficient are developed, many businesses will increasingly rely on freelancers and other 1099 workers.
Working independently as a freelancer or independent contractor allows you to become your own boss, and you can control how and when you work. However, it has several other benefits for your personal and professional life besides being your own boss.
Every 1099 employee and anyone else thinking about becoming self-employed should understand the benefits of working this way and weigh them against the merits of being full-time employees. But first, it is essential to understand the definition of a 1099 employee.
Advantages Of W2 Employees
- Committed to your company Treat them right, and employees can bring big dividends for your business. They will feel loyal to your company and go the extra mile by doing good work. There are many excellent independent contractors as well, but often, youre just one client among many.
- Offer more continuity Employees are with your business for the long haul, and they can lend a hand no matter what your business needs at a specific time. For example, if you need someone to shift focus or contribute to a project on short notice, you can rely on your employees to help out. Independent contractors, however, usually have a specific area of focus.
- Free up the business owners time Being a small business owner requires you to wear dozens of hats, and sometimes you might feel like you cant get a break. Having employees allows you to delegate specific tasks for the long term, so theyre off your plate for good. That frees you to focus on higher-level business decisions.
- Need to train them just once Employees need to receive training as part of their initial onboarding process. And although they should receive periodic training after that, theyll naturally be aware of company policies and expectations. Independent contractors arent part of your onsite team, so you cant always expect them to deliver work that meets your standards.
Vs W2 Employee: Which Is Better For Your Business
Now that we know the difference between an independent contractor and a W2 employee, itâs time to answer the question youâve probably been asking yourself: â1099 or W2 which is better for my employee and for my business?â Many small business owners choose to work with independent contractors because of the perceived cost savings. Employment taxes, workers compensation insurance, overhead costs like office space and break-room suppliesâtheyâre all necessary expenses when you hire W2 employees, and they can quickly erode a businessâs bottom line. In addition to the costs, though, youâll also need to weigh the W2 vs. 1099 pros and cons.
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Who Is A 1099 Employee
In view of the current pandemic, startups are going virtual and recruiting contractors across international borders.
But the question is:
Who is a 1099 Employee?
A 1099 employee is someone who isn’t classified as a regular employee under the law. Independent contractors are classified as 1099 employees. This means that instead of hiring a permanent employee who works under the guidance of the startup, the startup hires an independent contractor who is self-directed.
The distinction between a 1099 employee and others is generally obvious. For example, a painter hired to paint your home is an example of an independent contractor. After the job is completed, they would no longer be your employee.
The 1099 label is inaccurate if you require a permanent employee. A conventional employee is someone who must:
- Report to work
- Adhere to a workplace dress code
- Always report to their boss
Employees with a 1099 status are self-employed independent contractors. They are paid according to the terms and conditions stated in the contract and receive a 1099 form on which to report their income on their tax return.
Image credit: Unsplash
Your Independent Contractor Hiring Options
If youve decided the many benefits of independent contractors outweigh the negatives, and youre looking to hire, you have a couple of options.
You could try job boards, traditional temporary staffing agencies, social media campaigns, or referrals. However, the best way to hire 1099 independent contractors is with Qwick.
At the click of a button, employers can access industry Professionals who are audited by Qwick, which has yielded an impressive 98% shift fill rate.
You dont need to worry about a bad hire, Qwick offers a no-risk try before you buy program that allows employers to work with 1099 contractors before hiring them full-time if they are a good fit.
Even more, Qwick manages the taxes of 1099 independent contractors.
Qwick is the cost-effective, win-win solution to job boards and staffing agencies that savvy employers use to accomplish their short-term and long-term hiring goals.
So, if youre looking to hire an independent contractor and want the bestthink Qwick.
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Can 1099 Employees File For Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits for self-employed workers are generally not available, but the coronavirus pandemic changed this in many states.
While 1099 employees previously did not qualify for unemployment benefits, the CARES Act has since created new provisions that permit it amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
For decades, the unemployment insurance program in the U.S. has helped provide a cushion for those who unexpectedly find themselves out of work. But what about those self-employed workers who lose their business or cant find work?
Traditionally, 1099 workers have not been eligible to receive unemployment benefits. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed this norm, and federal coronavirus legislation opened the door for some independent workers to receive benefits. Below we answer some of the most common questions surrounding 1099 workers and unemployment benefits that can be obtained.
More Control Over Earnings
Sometimes 1099 work comes with instability. Freelancers may go through prosperous periods with more clients than they can handle, but if the tides turn, they can find themselves hustling to secure work.
That being said, not having a set salary means greater control over your earnings. Self-employed people work as many hours as they want. In addition, many are also able to establish their own rate.
Overall, thereâs greater potential to control the trajectory of your earnings.
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Examples: When To Choose A 1099 Vs W2 Employee
As you can see, sometimes it makes more sense to engage the services of an independent contractor than it does to hire an employee. At other times, though, youâll need to hire an employee to get the job done. If youâre still not sure which type of worker you should hire, there might be some alternative solutions at your disposal.
When Is A Verbal Agreement Legally Binding
For any contract to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
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Example Of A Sole Proprietorship
Most small businesses start as sole proprietorships and evolve into different legal structures as time passes and the company grows.
For example, Kate Schade started her company, Kates Real Food, as a sole proprietor. The company creates and sells energy bars and began as a local vendor in Jackson Hole, WY. The sole proprietorship currently has a production facility in Bedford, Pa., and can be found in more than 4,000 retailers.
A sole proprietorship has no separation between the business entity and its owner, setting it apart from corporations and limited partnerships.
Since launching in 2005, Kates Real Food has grown to supply accounts across the country. In response, Schade restructured the business from a sole proprietorship to a corporation to take on investments and expand, a natural step for a growing business.
How Strong Is A Verbal Agreement In Court
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there’s no unbiased way to conclude the case often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it’s not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they’re simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case – money is exchanged for goods.
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How To Pay Your Taxes Online
Throughout the year, it may be a good idea to either do your accounting yourself or hire a professional so you can keep your books organized before filing taxes.
At tax time, you will have a record of your income and any allowable deductible expenditures to refer to.
How much should freelancers budget for taxes?
Most experts recommend setting aside 25% to 30% of your paycheck for taxes. This may sound like a huge chunk of change, but youre not just paying income tax. As a freelancer, youre also responsible for self-employment tax, which covers Medicare and Social Security.
You send this budgeted money to the IRS every three months in the form of quarterly estimated payments. This allows you to pay your taxes as you go, just as your employer would do if you had a W-2 job. If you file your taxes and find out that you overpaid, youll get a refund.
For the 2022 tax year, quarterly estimated payments are due:
Bank accounts like Lili help freelancers set aside a portion of every paycheck for taxes, so you dont accidentally spend the money on other things. You can also run expenses reports and get paid up to two days early. The standard Lili account doesnt require any fees, but if you upgrade to Lili Pro for $4.99 per month, youll get perks such as unlimited invoicing, a 1% APY savings account and a premium Visa Debit card that earns cashback rewards.
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Employees And What They Need To Know
In the past, 1099 employees and freelancers had few legal rights and protections. But recently, especially ever since the pandemic, more and more employers have started using this employment model to avoid paying costly benefits like health insurance and retirement benefits- a trend that’s been met with some pushback from the freelancing community.
However, as a freelancer, you are self-employed and entitled to many of the same rights as employees. In some cases, the benefits youre eligible for as an independent contractor may even be better than those offered to employees by their employers. Freelancers have legal rights that extend beyond those awarded to most other workers.
1099 employees are often confused about what their rights are. Learn about your 1099 worker rights and how to protect yourself in this article!
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Why Is The 1099 Employee Designation Important
The 1099 employee designation is important due to taxes. If you hire an independent contractor, you avoid a large tax burden. The 1099 employee typically handles their own taxes.
If you have a traditional employer-worker relationship, you must pay several taxes, including:
In addition to paying Medicare and Social Security taxes, you must also withhold these taxes from the paychecks of employees. Avoiding this can be beneficial to your company, but incorrectly designating someone as a 1099 employee can get you into trouble.
Flowers Foods, a Georgia company, was sued after their drivers claimed they were cheated out of tens of millions of dollars due to being misclassified. In 2015, FedEx ended up paying $228 million due to incorrect classification.
The 1099 employee designation is an important one, and you cannot afford to make a mistake.
Tax Deductions For Independent Contractors
As we have already mentioned that, unlike employees, 1099 employee tax deductions are self-managed. In other words, independent contractors are responsible for their freelancer tax deductions.
Fortunately, 1099 employees can claim several tax deductions.
So, here we have tried compiling a list of independent contractor tax deductions or self-employed write-offs, whatever you prefer to call them!
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Vs W: The Employer Perspective
From an employer’s perspective, it’s often preferable to hire freelancers and contractors instead of employees. For one thing, they won’t have to pay for all the benefits they would offer employees, such as health insurance and perhaps life insurance, not to mention bonuses, stock options, 401 plan contributions, and so on.
It can also be much easier to terminate a relationship with a contractor or freelancer than with an employee, and contracts can be tweaked or changed from one period to another, suiting employer needs.
The issue has increasingly been in the news, as many companies are increasing their proportion of contractors in order to spend less on staffing. Employers generally make these choices well within the law, but some have been accused of classifying workers who should be considered employees as contractors instead.
The IRS has issued guidelines on the matter, saying, “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.” Meanwhile, “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.”
The distinction is important because there are penalties for misclassification.
Still, there’s a good case to be made for favoring employees over contractors.