In the journey of business growth, the need to bring in additional help becomes inevitable. As you find yourself grappling with overwhelming demands and nonessential tasks, the question of whether to hire someone as an employee or an independent contractor often arises. This decision carries legal, financial, and operational implications that require careful consideration. At Grapp Lerash, we understand the complexities surrounding worker classification. In this article, we’ll delve into the key factors provided by the IRS to help you make an informed decision and avoid potential pitfalls.

The Three Common Law Rules

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides three fundamental rules that play a crucial role in determining whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

  1. Behavioral Control: Ask yourself whether you control or have the right to control how the worker performs their tasks. Are you dictating the methods and processes they use to complete their work?
  2. Financial Control: Consider whether you control the business aspects of the worker’s job. This includes aspects like how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, and who provides the tools and supplies needed for the job.
  3. Type of Relationship: Examine the nature of the relationship. Are there written contracts or benefits resembling those provided to employees? Is the work performed a fundamental aspect of your business operations? Will the working relationship continue over time?

IRS Resources

Two valuable resources provided by the IRS aid in the worker classification process:

  1. Form SS-8: Determination of Worker Status of Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding: Filing a Form SS-8, by either the business owner or worker, with the IRS is a formal submission that presents the facts and circumstances of the working relationship for official determination of the worker’s status by the IRS. It’s crucial to note that the processing of this form by the IRS can take at least six months. Therefore, consulting with your CPA is essential to navigating this process effectively.
  2. The 20-Factor Test: The 20-Factor Test is a comprehensive list of questions designed to aid in worker classification. This test revolves around the three common law rules: Behavioral, Financial, and Type of Relationship.

Seek Professional Guidance

As your business grows and the need for additional help becomes apparent, understanding the nuances of worker classification is crucial. Making the right choice between an employee and an independent contractor can have far-reaching legal, financial, and operational consequences. A holistic evaluation is essential. Grapp Lerash stands ready to guide you through this complex decision-making process. Our expertise ensures that you navigate these waters confidently, safeguarding your business’s future success.

Remember, misclassification can lead to serious consequences. Reach out to us at Grapp Lerash for expert guidance, and let’s work together to ensure your business thrives while staying compliant with IRS regulations. To get started, visit our website at or call our office at 989-327-1400.