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Tag Archive for Section 530

Classification of Workers: Could Section 530 Come to the Rescue?

William Rogers - Worker Classification

The IRS and employers often are at loggerheads over the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors. Typically, many employers want to to treat workers as independent contractors, while the IRS often determines that workers are misclassified employees. Sometimes, the issue winds up in the courts.

Fortunately, there might be a way for employers to obtain a measure of protection if the IRS challenges the classification of a worker or workers. With “Section 530 relief,” an employer may avoid adverse tax consequences from a misclassification of employment status. However, this special safe-harbor rule is only available if the employer can show it had a reasonable basis for treating workers as independent contractors.

A Brief History of Section 530

As we stated in the main article, Section 530 is part of the Revenue Act of 1978. Initially, it was scheduled to expire on December 31, 1979. After then being extended twice, it was made permanent by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982.

In 1996, a paragraph was added to the existing Section 530 provision, requiring the IRS to inform an employer about the safe-harbor rule, when appropriate. This notification must be provided before the IRS begins an audit of the employment status of an employer’s workers.
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Worker Classification Questions—Employee or Contractor?

Annette Nellen

Worker classification—whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor—is a longstanding and sometimes difficult issue. There are a few different classification schemes applicable to different types of laws (labor, tax, etc.). Employers tend to favor contractor status when possible to avoid payroll taxes, application of most labor laws (such as overtime), and state laws governing how someone is paid, sick pay, reporting, and more.

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Tax Paper Publication Announcement: Why Section 530 of The Revenue Act of 1978 Applies To The States

My paper, “Why Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 Applies to the States,” is now published in the San Jose State University’s online MST peer-reviewed The Contemporary Tax Journal:

The paper is found online here:

The paper is also now posted in my TaxConnections Tax Library. Read more

Why Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 Applies to the States

Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 may already apply to the states, the Affordable Care Act, and title 29 issues. Don’t be surprised if state unemployment agencies and DOL are rabid in pursuing independent contractor misclassification issues in your business or your clients’ businesses. But don’t give up the section 530 issue when those agencies claim it is limited to subtitle C employment taxes.

The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 19, 2011. The next day, six states joined the MOU melee. Now, a few years later, the tale of the tape is in.

The Obama administration undertook a strategy to attack Section 530 of Revenue Act of Read more